On Tuesday, May 21, H.R. 2863 - The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA) was reintroduced in Congress by Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and David Schweikert (R-AZ), and championed by our friends at Animal Defenders International (ADI), the bipartisan bill has been signed by 16 cosponsors so far. With the passage of TEAPSPA, Congress aims to amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and other traveling acts.
Due to severe confinement, lack of free exercise, and the restriction of natural behaviors, animals used in traveling circuses suffer and are prone to health, behavioral, and psychological problems. Studies show that traveling circuses compromise the welfare of wild animals, who are confined in small spaces, deprived of their physical and social needs, and spend excessive amounts of time shut in trailers and train cars. Circus animals are often seen behaving abnormally under a high state of anxiety - rocking, swaying, and pacing, all indicating that they are in distress and not coping with their environment. Ultimately, these conditions present a public safety risk and deny these animals the right to live without suffering.
The mobile and transitory nature of traveling circuses makes it difficult for authorities to enforce federal animal health, safety, and welfare laws and violations. 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, and the least expensive solution to this problem.
Supporting the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act will ensure:
In the US, over 90 jurisdictions have full/partial bans on wild/exotic animal circus acts, and in December 2018 New Jersey and Hawaii both passed statewide bans. A number of other states are also considering bans. Now we have a chance to stop circus suffering nationwide, but we need you to speak out for the animals.
Newly formed in 2017, the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance was created to strengthen the big cat sanctuary community by offering an annual workshop for sanctuaries to come together to learn new methods in animal care, discuss veterinary issues and treatment, and cover financial topics such as fundraising strategies and sustainability. In addition, its offers support to member sanctuaries, as well as sanctuaries interested in obtaining BCSA membership, on ways to overall improve their standards of care.
The BCSA will speak as one unified voice on the issues of the exotic pet trade, big cats used in entertainment and other areas of abuse. The BCSA works towards the day when sanctuaries are no longer needed because the ownership and commercial exploitation of wild cats has been eliminated.
Lions Tigers & Bears holds the highest accreditation possible from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), a non-profit group which provides certification for animal sanctuaries, rescue centers, and rehabilitation centers across the world.
The sole purpose of GFAS is to ensure that these animals receive the highest standards of care during rescue, rehabilitation, and for the rest of their lives.
GFAS is the only globally recognized organization for certifying that a facility meets specific Standards of Excellence and recognizes those as a true "sanctuary." As such, Lions Tigers & Bears is proud to be certified by GFAS as we exceed their standards of care and excellence.
In addition, Bobbi Brink has been honored with the prestigious Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence, which is awarded annually to an individual who "embodies and puts into practice the GFAS philosophy of vision, dedication, and excellence in animal care at sanctuaries."
To learn more about the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Standards of Excellence visit their website.
Lions Tigers & Bears is an active member of the American Sanctuary Association. We are accredited by the Association, which requires member animal sanctuaries to comply with a variety of high quality animal care standards and housing requirements. Besides a detailed application process, in which organizational qualifications such as financial stability, fundraising procedures, board oversight, permits and licenses, organizational bylaws, educational materials and veterinary references are reviewed, the Association also visits all applicant animal sanctuaries to assure that their facilities and animal care merit the American Sanctuary Association endorsement. In addition, ASA member sanctuaries are not allowed to breed, sell or trade animals, or use them for commercial purposes.
Lions Tigers & Bears is a proud member of the Bear Care Group. The Bear Care Group is committed to creating and enhancing communication, cooperation and education among international bear care professionals by organizing bear care programs, publications and resources focused on advancing and sharing information on bear behavior, husbandry, enrichment, training, veterinary care and other topics to further global bear welfare and conservation efforts.