Welcome to DoSomething.org, a global movement of 5.5 million young people making positive change, online and off! The 11 facts you want are below, and the sources for the facts are at the very bottom of the page. After you learn something, do something! Find out how to take action here.

  1. Circus animals have the right to be protected and treated humanely under the Animal Welfare Act.
  2. Tigers naturally fear fire, but they are still forced to jump through fire hoops in some circuses and have been burned while doing so.
  3. Circuses are repeatedly cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Animal Welfare Act for trailers that have splintering wood and sharp, protruding metal pieces near animals' cages.
  4. Trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks and other painful tools of the trade to force animals to perform.
  5. In more than 35 dangerous incidents since 2000, elephants have bolted from circuses, run amok through streets, crashed into buildings, attacked members of the public, and killed and injured handlers.

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  1. Every major circus that uses animals has been cited for violating the minimal standards of care set by the United States Animal Welfare (AWA).
  2. 11 months a year they travel over long distances in box cars with no climate control; sleeping, eating, and defecating in the same cage.
  3. Virtually 96% of a circus animal’s life is spent in chains or cages.
  4. Since 1990, there have been more than 123 documented attacks on humans by captive large cats in the United States, 13 of which resulted in fatal injuries.
  5. During the off-season, animals used in circuses may be housed in small traveling crates. Such confinement has harmful psychological effects on them. These effects are often indicated by unnatural behavior such as repeated swaying, and pacing.
  6. Lack of exercise and long hours standing on hard surfaces are major contributors to foot infections and arthritis, the leading causes of death among captive elephants.

Sources

  • 1

    States United for Biomedical Research. "Animal Welfare and Animal Rights." Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

  • 2

    Big Cat Rescue Corp. "Circus." Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

  • 3

    Born Free USA. "Circus" Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

  • 4

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "Circuses." Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

  • 5

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "Circuses." Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

  • 6

    Born Free USA. "Get The Facts: Specific Circus Fact Sheets." Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

  • 7

    People Helping Animals. “Enjoy the Circus? The Animals Don’t.” Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

  • 8

    PAWS. "Enjoy the Circus? The Animals Don't." Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

  • 9

    Born Free USA. "Circus." Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

  • 10

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "Circuses: Three Rings of Abuse." Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

  • 11

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "Get Elephants Out of Zoos." Web Accessed March 14, 2015.

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