A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Nov 3, 2011

Traveling Circus Protection Act Reintroduced to Congress

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Originally launched in 2011, H.R.4525, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA), which would amend the Federal Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the use of an exotic or wild animal in an animal act, if, "during the 15-day period preceding such participation, such animal was traveling in a mobile housing facility" simply stalled in congress.

Congressman Jim Moran, (D-Virginia)  reintroduced the bill again and we need a strong showing of support for this effort.  Essentially, this would severely cripple the ability of small traveling circuses to exist and would require major changes to larger outfits like Ringling Brothers. In other words, the circus or exhibit just cannot come into town for one day and move on, but rather, it would have to have longer stays in each place with the additional financing for personnel and accommodations attendant to longer stays.

Animals don't magically appear at theaters, festivals, and fairs. They spend most of their time cooped up, sometimes chained, traveling in trains, trucks and the like. When they are not performing or rehearsing, they are also confined, often in minimal spaces for efficiency, ease of transport and cost concerns. When they are "on", they are contorting themselves and performing unnatural acts for our amusement. These animals are stressed, ill-used, and, as such develop health and behavioral issues often resulting in more confining and training "corrections". This is no life for these exotics and should be an unacceptable form of entertainment for a civilized society.

This bill is much appreciated and long overdue. We must work together to see that it passes.

It also wouldn't hurt to simultaneously encourage your local cities to simply ban circuses using live animals in your communities and to suggest that your schools not consider these acts as positive educational experiences for field trips. 

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