This week, former “Price is Right” host Bob Barker, “CSI” actress Jorja Fox and others from animal rights groups appeared on Capital Hill in support of the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA), which was introduced in Congress on Wednesday by Northern Virginia Democrat, Representative Jim Moran.
“Based upon publically available research, including video and photographic evidence, it is clear that traveling circuses cannot provide the proper living conditions for exotic animals. This legislation is intended to target the most egregious situations involving exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses,” said Rep. Jim Moran in a press release. “Keeping elephants in chains, confining lions and tigers in small cages, forcing them to perform unnatural tricks for the sole purpose of human amusement is increasingly difficult to justify the more we learn about these intelligent, social creatures.”
“Americans are becoming increasingly aware that circus animals suffer from violent training techniques and severe confinement,” said Philanthropist and TV host of “The Price Is Right” Bob Barker in the release. “Big, wild animals should not be part of the traveling circus and simply put, animal acts in circuses are antiquated and belong in the past, in a time when humans were ignorant about the needs of the other species who share our planet. ““Congress has a responsibility to protect the welfare of animals and ensure public safety. A prohibition on the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses is proportionate, responsible, the least expensive solution to this problem, and long overdue,” said “CSI” actress Jorja Fox in the release. “We call on Congress to bring to an end, once and for all, the abuse and suffering that has been exposed by ADI time and time again.”
TEAPA would end the keeping of animals for extended periods in temporary facilities, and the cruel training and control methods employed by circuses. The bill targets only the most egregious conditions and would not impact zoos, aquariums, rodeos or other static facilities with captive wildlife.
In the 112th Congress, Representative Moran co-chairs, along with Republican Elton Gallegly (CA), the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, a bipartisan organization committed to raising awareness of animal welfare issues in Congress.