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In 2019, two Asian elephants, named Beulah and Karen, died under the care of the Commerford Zoo. National Geographic recently reported that the elephants had suffered for years prior to their deaths as they were forced to travel, perform, and even give people rides. On the day Beulah died, witnesses say she collapsed multiple times. This is the reality of roadside zoos.
Roadside zoos are the small, unaccredited zoos that many people became acquainted with after watching Netflix’s Tiger King. While all zoos are inherently exploitative and harmful to animals due to their practice of keeping animals in captivity for profit, roadside zoos are especially cruel. The animals are kept in tiny, unsanitary facilities, often without access to necessities, like proper food and medical care. Animal welfare laws are loosely enforced at these kinds of facilities, which magnifies the suffering that animals already experience in captivity.
Recently, USDA records surfaced, documenting the elephants’ suffering before their deaths. While they should have the authority to intervene, animal activists say that the Animal Welfare Act currently does not go far enough.
Sign this petition to tell the U.S. Congress to update the Animal Welfare Act! Lawmakers must give the USDA the power to remove animals from abusive roadside zoos and send them to reputable sanctuaries instead.
To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:
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