Congressmen Ryan Costello (R-PA-06) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA) bill (H.R. 6342) yesterday. If enacted, TEAPSPA would effectively ban the use of wild animals in traveling shows across the United States. The congressmen announced the bill during a Washington DC screening of Lion’s Ark—a documentary about the rescue of 25 lions from circuses in Bolivia conducted by animal-rights organization Animal Defenders International (ADI). “The captivity of exotic animals has proven over the years to be torturous to some of the most majestic creatures on Earth,” Grijalva says. “It is imperative that we meet the call to end this practice once and for all.” Celebrities and animal activists voiced their opinions on the issue as well. Former host of The Price is Right and animal activist Bob Barker says, “Big, wild animals should not be part of the traveling circus and, simply put, animal acts in circuses are antiquated and belong in the past—in a time when humans were ignorant about the needs of the other species who share our planet.” To date, a total of 34 nations around the world—including Mexico, The Netherlands, and Iran—have banned traveling wild animal circuses.
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