WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) today introduced the Traveling Exotic Animal & Public Safety Protection Act, legislation that would prohibittraveling circuses from holding exotic animals such as lions, tigers and elephants in captivity. Studies over the past 20 years have shown that the mobile accommodations circuses rely on cannot provide animals with the facilities needed to maintain their health and welfare. Furthermore, placing stressed exotic animals in close proximity to audiences creates a public safety risk that has claimed the lives of circus workers and attendees alike.
The legislation comes as the lawmakers host a Lion Arc film screening and panel on Capitol Hill. The film covers the dramatic rescue of 25 lions from circus captivity in Bolivia after similar legislation to the Traveling Exotic Animal & Public Safety Protection Act passed into law there.
The Traveling Exotic Animal & Public Safety Protection Act follows actions by Ringling Brothers to retire their circus elephants and SeaWorld to end performing Orca shows and breeding. Thirty-four diverse countries around the world and 63 cities and counties in the United States already prohibit use of animals in circuses.