Talking points, sample letters and how to contact your representatives
November 16, 2016, Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA) and Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA), to amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and traveling performances. The bill will be reintroduced again in the 115th Congress.
We encourage you to contact your senators and representatives in support of TEAPSPA; phone calls are especially effective. When visiting their offices, the first and last thing legislators say is whether or not they’ve heard from their constituents. Constituent voices are very powerful and can open doors to the most surprising places.
Support TEAPSPA to secure an end to wild animal suffering in circuses across the US.
Contact Your Senators and Representative Today!
Ask your Senators and Representative to support federal legislation to ban the use of wild animals in traveling circuses. Feel free to personalize our sample letters below or use our talking points (which are also helpful for meetings with and calls to your Congress member).
Use the form below to find your member of the House of Representatives
Together we can stop circus suffering in the US!
Sample letter 1
Dear Member of Congress,
I am writing as a constituent to ask for your support of federal legislation to protect wild animals in circuses. Such legislation addresses an important issue that gravely concerns me about the welfare of wild animals forced to perform in traveling circuses.
Careful research and detailed undercover investigations have shown the welfare of animals is unacceptably compromised under the confinement and cruel training practices that are inherent in traveling circuses. Wild, stressed animals in close quarters with the public has proven to be a public safety hazard, with escaped animals both maiming and even killing members of the public, including children.
Every time we allow a majestic wild animal to be reduced to a cheap circus trick, we are not just turning a blind eye to cruelty, we are advancing the belief that it is acceptable to be inhumane and setting a poor example for our children. Simply put, animal acts in circuses are antiquated and belong in the past. Entertaining contemporary circuses like Cirque du Soleil prove that the show will go on without abused animals.
Over 30 countries around the world have adopted national legislation prohibiting or restricting the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses, with hundreds of local bans in place worldwide – over 200 in the UK, and hundreds in Europe and South America, as well as Asia. The time is now to act! Please follow the will of your compassionate constituents and be a leader in Congress to work toward protections for circus animals.
Thank you for your public service and I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.
Sample letter 2
Dear Member of Congress,
As your constituent and a citizen concerned with animal welfare, please focus your thoughtful attention to the issue of animals suffering in traveling circuses. I would like to ask you to please support federal legislation to protect wild animals in circuses.
As the internet and educational television programs expand our understanding of the natural world and the amazing creatures we share it with, Americans are increasingly becoming more sensitive to the complex needs of animals. With that education comes the growing understanding that these animals—elephants, tigers, lions, monkeys and others—are not getting their most basic welfare requirements met under the harsh constraints of life on the road in a traveling circus. The suffering of animals being forced to live in chains, in small cages and endure the boredom and sometimes brutal training inherent in the circus industry has been well documented as a systemic problem. History has proven that wild animals under duress sometimes escape and endanger the public.
Over 30 countries around the world, including Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Singapore, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia and others, have adopted national legislation prohibiting or restricting the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses, along with hundreds of local bans in place worldwide – over 200 in the UK, and hundreds in Europe and South America, as well as Asia. I am therefore respectfully asking you to join with other members of Congress to begin the work of addressing this issue here in the United States.
I appreciate all of your hard work in the district and hope that I can count on you to address this and other pressing animal welfare issues in the future.
Sample letter 3
Dear Member of Congress,
I am writing as a constituent concerned about the welfare of wild animals forced to perform in traveling circuses in the US. I would like to ask you to please support federal legislation to protect wild animals in circuses.
Americans are becoming increasingly aware that circus animals suffer from severe confinement, unavoidable because of the constraints of a difficult life of constant travel on the road. Tigers, bears, elephants and other wild animals spend hours on end either chained, in small cages, or crowded into trailers and train cars.
A circus animal’s life of ongoing deprivation is punctuated by moments of physical violence. Investigations have documented a pattern of abusive training methods where pain, punishment and fear are employed to force these wild animals to do unnatural and silly tricks. The tools of the trade include bullhooks, whips, and electric prods which are used to hit, “hook,” and shock animals.
Over 30 countries around the world have adopted national legislation prohibiting or restricting the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses, with hundreds of local bans in place worldwide – over 200 in the UK, and hundreds in Europe and South America, as well as Asia. I am respectfully calling on you to take a stand, with your compassionate constituents, against this abuse and work toward protecting circus animals.
Visit www.federalcircusbill.org to read the text of the bill and to view our congressional briefings.