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Circus animal suffering could soon come to an end in the United States with a bill banning the use of wild animals in travelling circuses going through Congress.
Common Dreams reported that the measure, called the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA), was recently presented to the House of Representatives and would amend the Animal Welfare Act, which has monitored human treatment of animals in research, transport, entertainment, and more since 1966.
TEAPSPA would ban travelling circuses and similar acts from featuring exotic and wild animals. The bill’s website explains the “adverse effects” of captivity and transport on animals used for entertainment.“due to severe confinement, lack of free exercise, and the restriction of natural behaviors, animals used in traveling circuses suffer and are prone to health, behavioral, and psychological problems.”The statement adds thatlaw enforcement authorities often struggle to monitor circuses effectively due to their ever-changing location, which leads to many cases of animal cruelty going undocumented.
According to TEAPSPA, a ban on exotic animal involvement in circuses would be the most beneficial solution for the economy, naming it the “least expensive solution to this problem.” The website mentions that between 2007 and 2010, the USDA inspected Carson & Barnes Circus 42 times, spending a total of $57,246, with most of the financial burden falling into taxpayers’laps.
The bill is sponsored by Arizona Representatives Raúl Grijalva and David Schweikert as well as by Jan Creamer, founder and president of Animal Defenders International (ADI). According to ADI, numerous animal protection groups like Big Cat Rescue and Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest are supporting the bill.Team Panda