Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Chained for 100 Hours

Written by Heather Faraid Drennan | November 21, 2011

If the thought of sitting in a car for hours on end with whining kids, a hard-of-hearing grandma, and a cigar-puffing uncle this Thanksgiving weekend makes you feel queasy, imagine making the trip in a poorly ventilated boxcar with no heat. Upon arriving at your destination, instead of being greeted by welcoming family members, a hearty meal, and a warm bed, you’re prodded into a march to an arena basement, where you’re chained to a concrete floor until being poked and jabbed into the ring and forced to perform meaningless, repetitious, uncomfortable, and even painful tricks in front of a screaming crowd.

That is a snapshot of the lives of the elephants who are dragged from one circus show to the next—but a new bill before Congress could give elephants, tigers, and other exotic animals used by circuses a reprieve.

Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia has introduced H.R. 3359, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, which would, among other measures, prohibit exhibitors from forcing animals to be transported for more than 12 hours without a break and ban forcing animals to perform if they had traveled within the past 15 days, effectively prohibiting circuses from trucking the animals around the country for months at a time.

Internal Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus documents show that elephants used by the circus are chained for up to 100 hours straight (and an average of 26 consecutive hours per trip) while traveling between cities. Not surprisingly, Ringling opposes the bill and has called it an “attack” on “tradition.”

Ringling is spending mega-dollars to oppose H.R. 3359, which is why it is so important that you take a moment to click here to contact your representative to ask him or her to support the bill or to thank your legislator if he or she is already a co-sponsor. Let your representative know that animal abuse is not a tradition worth supporting.

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  • Lanna says:

    I was so shocked when I saw the you tube clips. It broke my heart to see these beautiful animals treated this way! I quickly hopped on ringlings website to let them have it! I will be passing along this bill. We need to do the right thing for these creatures. No animal deserves to be treated with such cruelty. How would the staff like it if they were hit with a bull hook!!!!!!!

  • Lanna says:

    I was so shocked when I saw the you tube clips. It broke my heart to see these beautiful animals treated this way! I quickly hopped on ringlings website to let them have it! I will be passing along this bill. We need to do the right thing for these creatures. No animal deserves to be treated with such cruelty. How would the staff like it if they were hit with a bull hook!!!!!!!

  • Nadine says:

    Everyone’s comments here are so on the mark. My heart goes out to all of the abused and helpless animals. My daughter is planning to be a large animal Vet, this is just heartbreaking to her to watch. I agree with Sherri above. This is “NO Tradition” I want to pass on for one more second. I watched how they kept the mother elephants away from their babies, how can they do this!! Also, the baby elephant who drowned. These people are suppose to care, where is their heart. THIS MUST STOP!!

  • RUTH says:

    I don’t know how anyone can be so cruel to such beautiful creatures. If they can be this cruel to animals imagine how they are with humans. If they don’t like animals get out of the business. And they wonder why animals turn on their trainers. I say do that to them and see what happens.

  • Sherri says:

    I have been made aware of this bill through Ringling Brothers & Feld Entertainment’s email blast telling me “congress is trying to kill a family tradition” asking for me “to write my state reps and ask to NOT to support the bill” I replied saying “Animal cruelty is NOT my idea of a family tradition I will be passing along” I am so proud to have already sent my letters asking my state reps to SUPPORT this bill and also have facebooked my friends to do the same! I really hope this will be a victory for these beautiful creatures! I have recently been made aware of the cruelties animals face in these enviornments and have made my 7 & 10 year old children aware, and we are starting a family tradition of our own, “NO MORE CIRCUSES!!!”

  • Linda says:

    Don’t support Ringing brothers or any other circus where animals are abused the purpose of “entertainment” You are just as guilty as them if you do go.

  • Lisa says:

    This would be great if the Bill did go through but im not pinning my hopes on it, how America can let this abuse continue year after year after year.

  • Mimi says:

    If Ringling can spend millions to lobby against this bill, why didn’t they spend millions putting more care into their animals? Ringling is worried because videos and pictures of abuse clearly show no remorse and no regard in the animals feelings. I read because of PETA, ADI and IDA as well as many more organizations, less people are going to the circus. The truth hurts doesn’t it Ringling? There is a victory here either way, if by chance the Bill does not pass this time around there will be a strong decline in the public attending circuses even more. This Bill is opening the publics eyes to what really goes on behind the scenes. Jorja Fox said in the press conference, she is doing this because she wants to show our children that there are some things that are not right. Exploiting animals for entertainment forced to perform over and over again is nothing less than cruelty. Bob Barker ended the press conference saying the happiest day for exotic animals is the day they die and how sad that is. Sincerely S. Earlene, Oregon

  • Amy says:

    This torturous ‘tradition’ needs to be stopped immediately. The cruetly it inflicts on these gentle giants is inhumane and they deserve better than what they are getting being performance acts and being forced to do ‘tricks’ that is not in their nature. A break is the least they deserve Regards Amy Anderson, Ireland