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Protecting Animals Used in Circuses (Massachusetts)

An Act Relative to the Use of Elephants, Big Cats, Primates, and Bears in Traveling Exhibits (H.3376/S.2251)

Prohibit the use of elephants, big cats, primates, giraffes, and bears in circuses and traveling shows in Massachusetts.

Updated

May 12, 2021

Work Type

Legislation

Status

Pending

An Act Relative to the Use of Elephants, Big Cats, Primates, Giraffes, and Bears in Traveling Exhibits (H.3376/S.2251) would prohibit the use of certain wild animals in circuses and traveling shows in the Commonwealth.

Wild animals in circuses spend most of their days in cramped, barren cages, deprived of the ability to engage in their natural behaviors. Forced to perform frightening and sometimes painful tricks, they often endure a lifetime of misery.

Massachusetts: Urge Your Legislators to Protect Animals Exploited by Circuses

Ask your state legislators to support a bill that would prohibit the use of elephants, big cats, primates, and bears in circuses and traveling shows.

Take Action

Many wild animal exhibitors that perform in Massachusetts have histories of federal Animal Welfare Act violations and dangerous public safety incidents. For example, the Commerford Zoo, a Connecticut-based traveling circus where two elephants died in 2019, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) more than 50 times for violations ranging from inadequate veterinary care to poor sanitation. The Commerford Zoo frequently exhibits at Massachusetts’ fairs and other venues, underscoring the need for the Commonwealth to take action.

Already, six states and nearly 150 other localities in 37 states have passed various restrictions governing the use of wild animals in circuses and traveling shows—including thirteen Massachusetts municipalities: Amherst, Braintree, Cambridge, Mendon, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Provincetown, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, Topsfield, Weymouth, and Wilmington.

Legislation to prohibit the use of elephants, big cats, primates, giraffes, and bears in circuses and traveling shows in Massachusetts is sponsored in the House by State Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-8th Essex) and State Representative Bradley H. Jones (R-20th Middlesex) and in the Senate by State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-1st Essex and Middlesex) and State Senator Adam Gomez (D-Hampden).

If you live in Massachusetts, please take action and urge your legislators to support this bill.

Rallying in Massachusetts for Wild Animals Exploited by Circuses and Traveling Shows

During the 2019-20 legislative session, animal advocates gathered in front of the Massachusetts State House along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and other animal protection groups to rally for wild animals exploited by circuses in advance of a hearing on legislation to prohibit the use of certain wild animals in circuses and traveling shows.

Learn more about animals exploited for entertainment.