Just recently, New Jersey became the very first state to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.
And just one week later, Hawaii has followed suit.
This past Friday, Governor of Hawaii, David Ige, banned the importation as well as use of wild animals that could be dangerous — like tigers, lions, bears, elephants, crocodiles and primates in all types of performances, including circuses and carnivals.
Animal welfare advocates alike are beyond excited that both states have taken these steps to keep animals safe.
“These reforms in Hawaii and New Jersey have been a long time coming,” said the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Kitty Block, in a statement.
“Wild animals used in traveling shows are subjected to prolonged periods of extreme confinement in unventilated trucks and trailers as they are hauled from venue to venue for months at a time. When they are not performing, elephants are chained or confined to small pens and big cats are kept in transport cages barely bigger than the animals themselves. The animals are routinely deprived of adequate exercise, veterinary care, or even regular food and water.”
Unfortunately, it is all too common for most circus animals to be abused. To make the animals perform tricks, trainers will whip and beat them – forcing them to submit by fear and pain.
And while most of the abuse is done in secret during training sessions, trainers have also been known to beat animals during live performances too.
The elephant, Tyke, an elephant used in a Honolulu circus in 1994, was a catalyst for change in Hawaii.
After years of being abused, Tyke mauled his trainers during a live performance and then ran out of the arena and onto the streets.
Police eventually shot and killed Tyke.
“There is simply no need to involve wild animals in any form of live entertainment,” Block shared. “Thank you to Hawaii Governor Ige and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy for ending the year with these sweeping reforms.”
If you would like to help stop animal abuse in circuses, one way you can help is to educate others about why exactly animal circuses are cruel.
This is very important for young children to understand as they will grow up with a sense of right and wrong when it comes to the use and abuse of animals.
If you have children in your life, it would be a great idea to start teaching them the natural behaviors and needs of wild animals used in circuses — and then explain how they are not able to do any of these things when they are performing.
When others are able to recognize why the circus is cruel, they will no longer have any desire to go — including children.
Another way you can help stop circuses is to organize a community boycott when a show comes to town.
You can have a peaceful protest against the circus by handing out information as well as chatting with locals about the issues.
If you feel led to support circus animal rescues along with policy changes around the globe, you can make a donation to HSUS here.
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