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Wild animals in circuses suffer tremendously physically, psychologically, and emotionally. They are torn from their mothers as babies, and many of the animals found in circuses are very social creatures who should be with her herds, prides, etc. These animals include elephants, lions, tigers, and chimpanzees. Because they are not in their natural habitat surrounded by their fellow species acting on their instincts, they develop depression, anxiety, and frustration. This is exacerbated by the fact that traveling circus animals spend 96 percent of their life behind bars and in small cages.

Wild animals kept captive for the circus are also trained using physical punishment and starvation techniques. All of this is completely unnecessary, especially considering that circuses can be successful and perform amazing shows without wild animals at all. There are animal-free circuses like Cirque du Soleil, and Circus Roncalli even uses holographic animals!

Recently, representatives Raúl M. Grijalva and David Schweikert introduced the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA). This bill would “prohibit traveling circuses from holding exotic animals such as lions, tigers, and elephants in captivity.”

Representative Grijalva said, “Traveling animal acts deprive exotic and wild animals of their basic dignity and create a safety hazard for the general public. This legislation updates our antiquated animal welfare laws and prohibits traveling circuses from holding exotic animals such as lions, tigers and elephants in captivity.”

Representative Schweikert also explained why he is passionate about TEAPSPA: “As a native of the Southwest, seeing exotic animals roam free is something Arizonans cherish. By continuing to educate the public about the dangerous travel practices some animals must endure, we can put an end to these torturous and harmful conditions and help maintain the beauty of our wild animals.”

This bill would be an amazing victory for wild animals! To Support TEAPSPA and urge Congress to pass this bill, sign this petition!

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