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Many countries ban circuses with wild animals: These lawmakers want the U.S. to follow suit

Karin Brulliard: ‘Mexico, Peru and several other Latin American countries have banned or restricted the use of animals in traveling circuses in recent years. Performing animals are even rarer in Europe, where many nations prohibit them. There is no such federal law in the United States. But dozens of local bans, as well as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s recent decision to fold its tent, have some lawmakers hoping the American political terrain might now be fertile enough to send all circus elephants, tigers and bears to retirement… U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello (R-Penn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) appeared on Capitol Hill this week to introduce a bill that would prohibit wild or exotic animal performances in traveling circuses.

Flanked by television actors Jorja Fox and Eric Szmanda, the representatives argued that the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act — known by the unwieldy acronym TEAPSPA — would end the suffering of creatures that profit-motivated humans force to perform unnatural behaviors and live in cramped conditions. “I don’t think that those practices have any place in the fabric of our society,” said Costello, who added that his constituents are keenly interested in animal welfare issues… The question is whether they and lots of other Americans are interested enough to push for a nationwide ban on circus animals’. SOURCE…

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