Far too many traveling exhibits are incapable or unwilling to exceed the minimal laws, placing the welfare of animals above profit. Existing laws are too lacking to ensure appropriate space, enrichment, and to limit exploitation.
Undercover investigations and scientific evidence show that given the circumstances of constant travel, limited facilities and pressure to make animals do things that they are unwilling to do, suffering and sometimes abuse is inevitable in U.S. traveling circuses. With current-day understanding of the intelligence, environmental and emotional needs of other species, we have no excuse to treat them in a way that degrades a civilized, advanced society.
No one is saying ‘end circuses.’ Rather, let’s take animals out of circuses and let humans do the entertaining.
Please support the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act and show circus animals that you care.
The Association of Professional Wildlife Educators is forming an official position statement regarding this proposed legislation. However, though the humane treatment of ALL animals is of utmost concern and expressed throughout our Ethics Policy, the unintended consequences of HR 3359 as it is currently written would be so vast and damaging to facilitating an educated and conservation-minded citizenry that we must oppose the bill in it's current form.
The impact of this bill if passed would go far beyond helping a couple hundred animals involved in the few remaining circuses!
It would also immediately criminalize the thousands of highly professional educational programs and experiences that are brought to the elderly, schools, impoverished and remote communities, inner city populations, libraries and more. Organizations that TRULY help wild and domestic animals such as nature centers, wildlife sanctuaries, licensed exhibitors, local animals rescue shelters and even those organizations that work with animals to help injured and disabled populations (many of them exceedingly reputable non-profit organizations) would be severely hurt or even shut down and the consequences to their animals would be severe. None of these animals would be the "circus species" referred to in the bill's propaganda.
We oppose H.R. 3359: Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act because there is a great deal of hoopla over how animals are treated. While we are against the maltreatment of pets and in support of humane treatment of animals, there comes a time that a line must be drawn. That line is crossed when proposed government legislation places restrictions that hinder legitimate business, educational, or entertainment purposes. Animals are not humans! Humans are not animals and animals do NOT have the same rights as humans. Do we place the lion in jail for killing the gazelle? No. There is a line that people cross when they actually believe the myth that animals and humans are related in a common ancestry--a shared "evolutionary heritage." It is NOT true. It is NOT science...but a belief, a belief that affects the lives of human beings. This bill will negatively impact the lives and businesses and PEOPLE. Please oppose it. Thank you.