Big Top-ple Nov05

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Raquel Benson

is a Senior Contributor to TDA, a journalism student, humanist, and artist with issues of chronic imagination. She may be brash, but it stems from a deeper concern for the world around her.

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Celebrity Charities – Capitol Hill-Celebrity animal rights activists Bob Barker and Jorja Fox are joining forces with Animal Defenders International (ADI), the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and congress members in efforts to establish a Bill that would change the lives of animals in entertainment.

Behind the scenes of the circus, many exotic animals are trained through means of intimidation and physical abuse. Reports from former circus employees have revealed the horrid reality for these poor performers-animals are being whipped, burned, and prodded with razor-sharp objects. Many circus elephants, barring their performance, are kept in chains for their entire lives and there have also been reports of chimpanzees being hit with riding crops. No government agency monitors the training sessions.

The ADI is a London-based organization whose mission is to deliver justice to the cruelty and abuse of animals. The ADI caries with it an extraordinary campaign called Stop Circus Suffering. Working alongside the ADI is PAWS, an organization specifically focused on protecting performing animals.

These foundations are teaming up with members of congress to introduce the historic launch of the Traveling Animal Protection Act (TEAPA), a Bill that restricts the use of wild animals in circuses in order to bring the traveling animal suffrage to an abrupt halt.

Bob Barker commented on the injustice, “Americans are becoming increasingly aware that circus animals suffer from violent training techniques and severe confinement. Big, wild animals should not be part of the traveling circus and simply put, animal acts in circuses are antiquated and belong in the past, in a time when humans were ignorant about the needs of the other species who share our planet.”

Read more at Animal Defenders International, Look to the Stars, PETA, PAWS, and Do Something.