Alec Baldwin to USDA: Do Your Job and Ban Bear Pits

Published by Beth Silvia.

As a concerned citizen and well-known animal advocate, Emmy-winning actor Alec Baldwin is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to align with public opinion and ban the cruel imprisonment of bears in concrete pits.

Alec writes:

A statutory mandate of the AWA is to ensure that animals used for exhibition “are provided humane care and treatment.” Furthermore, AWA regulations state, “Enclosures shall be constructed and maintained so as to provide sufficient space to allow each animal to make normal postural and social adjustments with adequate freedom of movement. Inadequate space may be indicated by evidence of malnutrition, poor condition, debility, stress, or abnormal behavior patterns.”

There is nothing humane or adequate about bear pits. The USDA has an ethical and statutory obligation to ensure that exhibited bears are treated humanely, and until it does, bears languishing in concrete pits will continue to pay the price.

Read the entire letter here.

In addition to sending this important letter to the USDA, Alec joined PETA to narrate a video and spread the word about what so-called “life” is like for bears trapped in miserable concrete pits and imprisoned by roadside zoos and traveling shows.

Highly intelligent animals capable of empathy and many other emotions, bears are active for up to 18 hours per day in their natural habitat and spend their time exploring diverse terrain. In the wild, they forage for a wide variety of foods and dig in soft earth, brush, and leaves—but the concrete pits that captive bears are forced to call home deprive them of everything that is natural and important to them. Restricted by four solid walls, they cannot scan the horizon, gain a perspective on their surroundings, or use their acute sense of smell to explore nature.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind