Champagne Corks Pop at PETA as Colorado Becomes Latest to Ban Animal Circus Acts

Victory for animals! PETA has learned that the governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, has signed the Traveling Animal Protection Act (SB 21-135) into law. This bill, which bans the use of elephants, big cats, bears, and other animals in circuses and other traveling shows in the state, will take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns later this year. This bill should also end dangerous animal exhibits at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, including elephant and camel rides and exotic-cat shows. Colorado is joining California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York, which have all placed restrictions on the use of animals in traveling acts. Below, you can check out a more comprehensive list of localities that have passed restrictions or bans on the use of animals in circuses.

Governor Signs SB21-135, the Traveling Animal Protection Act

Posted by Colorado Voters for Animals on Friday, May 14, 2021

To help secure this important legislative win in Colorado, PETA supplied detailed information on traveling animal exhibitors in the state to the animal-friendly advocacy group Colorado Voters for Animals, the determined local force behind this bill’s success. We also asked our supporters in Colorado to contact their legislators in support of its passage, and our years of protesting, action alerts, and law-enforcement efforts paved the way for this momentous day for animals exploited for entertainment.

animals in circuses

The following towns, cities, states, and countries represent just some of the places that have passed restrictions or bans on the use of certain wild animals in circuses or traveling shows.

These U.S. cities and counties have existing bans or restrictions on animal circuses and traveling wild-animal acts:

These U.S. states have statewide bans on certain animal acts in circuses:

  • California—Bans the use of all animals in circuses except domesticated dogs, cats, and horses
  • Hawaii—Bans the importation of wild or exotic animals for circuses
  • Illinois—Bans the use of elephants in traveling acts
  • New Jersey—With the passage of Nosey’s Law, became the first state to ban wild- or exotic-animal acts
  • New York—Bans the use of elephants in traveling acts

These countries have restrictions or bans on animals in circuses and traveling shows:

Fight Speciesism: Stay Far Away From Animal Acts, Attractions, or Encounters at Circuses and Traveling Shows

Animals are unwilling participants in circus acts and traveling shows. Denied every opportunity to engage in natural behavior vital to their mental and physical well-being, they’re forced to perform confusing and often painful tricks under the threat of punishment. If an event features dangerous hands-on encounters between humans and wild animals, don’t buy a ticket. Support performances and venues that rely solely on the talents of willing human performers, and encourage your friends and family members to do the same.

Want to do more for animals?

Take Action for Elephants Used for Rides

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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