Tah-dah! Rep. Moran Unveils a Circus Animal Protection Act

Rep. Jim Moran

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Following a yearlong Mother Jones investigation of Ringling Bros. elephant abuse, a bill to protect exotic animals has finally appeared in the three-ring circus that is Congress. The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act was presented Wednesday with the support of Northern Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, former The Price Is Right host Bob Barker and CSI actress Jorja Fox.

In his decision to support the bill Wednesday, Rep. Moran cited recent reports of elephant abuse. “Based upon publically available research, including video and photographic evidence, it is clear that traveling circuses cannot provide the proper living conditions for exotic animals,” he said. “This legislation is intended to target the most egregious situations involving exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses.” According to Morgan’s spokeswoman Anne Hughes, Moran read Mother Jones‘ story “The Cruelest Show on Earth.”

The five-page bill calls for the restriction of exotic and domesticated animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions. Specifically, it would forbid all exotic and wild animals from performing if they had been traveling in mobile shelters at any time in the 15 days before. So much for the traveling circus. To make his case, Rep. Moran cites the health costs of traveling and capitivity on exotic animals, psychological and behavioral problems, elephant hooks, electric shocks, and other forms of abuse. He also mentions how an angry, cooped-up elephant might pose a danger to the public.

Here, in its entirety, is the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act:

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest