Circus Animal Performances Cancelled Until Further Notice?

That further notice could be legislation that is currently underway. Lawmakers are proposing a bill to stop traveling circuses from the use of of circus animals. Animals presently performing as traveling circus performers could soon be freed from their indentured and laborious work on the road. On Tuesday, May 21, a congressional bill was proposed to the House of Representatives that would prohibit the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses, Common Dreams reported.

Sponsorships . . .

The measure, the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA), is set to be introduced in the House of Representatives.

Sponsored by Arizona Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D) and David Schweikert (R), TEAPSA , the bill is amending the Animal Welfare Act by restricting the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and other traveling performances. The rationale behind the bill is to thwart animals from being kept prisoner and subject to tortuous treatment in the name of entertainment.

"Confined, abused, and forced to perform, this is the sad reality of circus life for the animals," said TEAPSEA backer and actor Ed Asner in a statement. "The suffering never, ever stops, until they die. Let's finally say 'no' to these horror shows and 'yes' to TEAPSPA!"

Stopping the torture . . .

TEAPSPA's asserts that the conditions traveling animals are subject to — such as constant travel, confinement, and being forced to learn tricks against their nature and perform them — can have adverse effects on these animals, in terms of both physical and mental health. Those conditions are not only detrimental for the animals — the TEAPSPA website notes that transporting wild animals can pose public health and safety risks to humans.


A number of well-known celebrities are supporting the measure, as well as numerous animal protection organizations including Big Cat Rescue, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, and In Defense of Animals.

"Animals have their spirits broken, beaten out of them, in order to entertain humans in circuses," said actor and director Ricky Gervais. "It is heartbreakingly cruel and humiliating; it belongs to our ignorant past."

"TEAPSPA," Gervais added, "This will bring an end to this suffering."

Primary Source: Federal Circus Bill