Colorado’s Ban On Exotic Animals In Traveling Circuses Recently Passed The Senate, Now Moves To The House Of Representatives

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A bill to ban the use of exotic animals in traveling performances in Colorado has swiftly passed the State Senate. Introduced in January, SB20-125, supported by Animal Defenders International (ADI), now heads to the State House of Representatives.

The Traveling Exotic Animal Safety Protection Act (TEASPA) is sponsored by Senators Joann Ginal and Rachel Zenzinger, and Representatives Meg Froelich and Monica Duran.

Providing ADI evidence in support of the bill, the organization’s General Counsel Christina Scaringe gave written and oral testimony at the initial committee hearing. Opposing the measure was Bill Swain of Trunks and Humps, whose elephant handler (and son), Mike Swain, has been filmed by ADI horrifically beating their elephants during training.

ADI President Jan Creamer said in a statement, “This important legislation will stop animal suffering statewide, so we hope it will progress as swiftly through the House as it has done in the Senate. Circuses and other traveling shows are no place for wild animals, so let’s help them and get these outdated acts banned in Colorado.”

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 – rocking, swaying, and pacing, all indicating that they are in distress and not coping with their environment. ADI’s video evidence has shown how animals are forced to perform tricks through physical violence, fear and intimidation.

A federal bill to end the use of wild animals in traveling shows nationwide, the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA; HR2863/S2121), is gaining support in the House and Senate. Across the U.S., 96 jurisdictions in 32 states have taken action to restrict such acts to date, with New Jersey, Hawaii, and California passing statewide measures.

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