Moran Pushes for Passage of Exotic Animal Protection Bill
Cites Feld Entertainment violations and fines
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, today renewed his call for passage of the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act following the announcement that Feld Entertainment agreed to pay $270,000 in fines for alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
“Today’s announcement indicates that mistreatment of animals in violation of the law – despite claims to the contrary from the traveling circus industry – is widespread and persistent,” said Rep. Moran. “The mounting evidence of inhumane treatment and growing public concern for these animals demands that we reconsider the appropriate living conditions provided for these intelligent, social creatures.”
The settlement agreement was announced today by the USDA and Feld Entertainment, Inc., which owns Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, for alleged Animal Welfare Act violations from June 2007 to August 2011. Further, Feld Entertainment also agreed to provide Animal Welfare Act compliance training for all Feld employees who will work with and handle animals.
“We are delighted to see the USDA taking firm action against Ringling and sending this clear message to other USDA licensed circuses and exhibitors. The fact that Ringling Bros. Circus has had non-compliances of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dating back at least four years to warrant this unprecedented punitive settlement, is a clear indication for the need to pass federal legislation to protect wild animals in traveling circuses,” responded Matt Rossell, Animal Defenders International’s Campaigns Director. “ADI applauds the foresight of Representative Jim Moran (D-Va) who saw the need for circus animal protection and took immediate action with his recent introduction of H.R.3359, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act.”
The “Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act,” introduced by Rep. Moran this month, would prohibit exotic animals from performing if the animal was kept in a confined mobile facility in fifteen days prior to their performance. TEAPA would provide some exemptions including zoos, rodeos and aquariums.
To read more about the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, please visit: http://moran.house.gov/press-release/rep-moran-bob-barker-jorja-fox-announce-bill-limit-use-exotic-animals-traveling-circus
To read the USDA press release, please visit: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2011/11/0494.xml&contentidonly=true