Stop Circus Suffering

Dramatic circus elephant escape leads to calls for wild animal circus legislation

‘Public and animal safety once again compromised’ says Animal Defenders International

Elephant eye

The startling sight of a runaway elephant in a parking lot in the city of Cork, Ireland yesterday has outraged animal rights campaigners throughout the world, with fresh calls being made for legislation to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

The 2.5 ton 40 year old female Indian elephant, called Baby was eventually re-captured by her panic-stricken handlers from the Courtney Brothers Circus camped nearby after frightening and endangering the lives of visitors to a shopping center in the city before dashing onto a nearby road.

Speaking on behalf of the Irish group Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), John Carmody said, “With the frantic images of the elephant trying to escape on Tuesday from the circus hitting households everywhere, people across our nation are finally realizing that circuses with animals have no place in Irish society. The writing is finally on the walls for those still clinging onto a future of animal-acts, and now people realize that we must bring these outdated establishments to a long awaited end.”

Los Angeles based Animal Defenders International (ADI) is campaigning in the U.S. to bring an end to the use of wild animals in circuses, and launched a federal bill, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA)(H.R. 3359), late last year in conjunction with Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) and celebrity animal protectionists Bob Barker and Jorja Fox. The bill aims to restrict traveling circuses from using wild and exotic animals; this latest incident demonstrates perfectly why there is an urgent need to restrict or ban animal circuses.

Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International said: “This is a prime example as to why wild animals do not belong in traveling circuses, as it clearly demonstrates how public safety, and that of the animals, can so easily be compromised.

“Fortunately no one was harmed this time, but the situation could have so easily been very different. The keepers had clearly lost control of the elephant.

“It is time to restrict the use of wild animals in circuses, in the interests of animal welfare and public safety. This serious safety breach provides governments around the world including the U.S. with further firm evidence of the need to press ahead with the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, to protect both the public, and the animals used in circuses.”

Since its launch, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R.3359) has been very well received in the U.S. and has 18 Congressional co-sponsors; several more Members of Congress are expected to sign to the bill soon as a result of ADI’s recent grassroots “Week of Action” in support of the bill during which thousands of animal advocates around the country flooded Congress with calls, emails and letters urging Representatives to support and co-sponsor the bill.

Video footage of the elephant escape can be viewed by clicking here.
Read more about this incident by clicking here.

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