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Animals in Traveling Shows


The Show Must Not Go On!

Ending the use of exotic animalsin traveling circuses.

Today there is strong support for banning the use of elephants, lions, tigers, bears and other wild animals in traveling shows. In circuses, animals are chained, confined in cramped cages, forced to travel throughout the year in cramped semi-trailers and train cars, and subjected to brutal training and physical violence.

Seeing wild animals perform in circus acts sends the wrong message to children, cultivating disrespect and the illusion that the animals would willing engage in these behaviors. In reality, the animals are whipped, beaten and harassed into performing for the public.

Due to the nature of traveling circuses, where animal accommodation must be small, lightweight, collapsible and fit on the back of a trailer, circuses simply cannot provide animals with the space and the environment they need to maintain physical and mental health.


Traveling circuses cause suffering

to exotic and wild animals:

Limited space. The animals' living spaces are always small and the animals’ ability to move around is severely restricted.

Extended hours inside vehicles. Not only are circus animals forced to travel great distances, but they must also be loaded well before the circus is packed to travel to the next location.  The animals must then wait in their vehicles while the circus is set up, before they can be unloaded. Set up time can take as long as 24 hours, even on short journeys.

Lack of free exercise and restriction of natural behaviours. Circuses may pitch their show in any spot they can find – on roadsides, in fields, on a concrete parking lot. The animals’ needs are not taken into consideration.

Stress from abnormal conditions. Solitary animals are housed alongside other animals; prey species are kept in sight of predators; family group animals are isolated. Any of these circumstances can cause psychological suffering, and sometimes even insanity.

The tricks these animals are forced to perform require extreme physical coercion and violence, including the restriction of food and/or water, use of bull hooks, stun guns and other electric shock devices, as well as metal bars, whips, and intimidation.

These conditions cause the animals to be prone to health, behavioral and psychological problems. The extreme levels of stress that circus animals endure can make an already dangerous animal, even more dangerous, a scary thought when you consider their close proximity to the public. These situations have resulted in human injuries and even deaths.


Animal Free Circuses!

View our list here.







It's official! Governor Brown signs California ban on the elephant bullhook!

Read here




View current list here.









Performing Animal Welfare Society
PO Box 849, Galt, CA 95632

209/745-2606 office/sanctuary
209/745-1809 fax

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