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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania


March 28, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Costello speaks at a press conference on animal welfare

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA) today reintroduced bipartisan animal welfare legislation at a press conference with Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), former Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), Animal Defenders International (ADI) President Jan Creamer, and advocates and actors Jorja Fox and Eric Szmanda.

Circus animals live out a large part of their lives constrained in small cages, train cars, or crowded trailers, and are only released to learn unnatural circus acts that often include the use of physical abuse, such as bullhooks, whips, and electric prods. Law enforcement efforts investigating existing animal welfare violations is hindered because of the mobile nature of circuses crossing state lines, making federal legislation a key part of the solution to this problem.

“Documented findings raise serious concerns about the systemic inhumane treatment and basic welfare violations of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses,” said Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA). “Our legislation will work to protect these animals from activities that are detrimental to their health, well-being, and general public safety.”

“Caging exotic animals for entertainment is cruel to the animals and dangerous for their audiences,” said Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ). “Traveling circuses treat the mental health and wellbeing of living creatures as expendable, and they turn a blind eye to the danger of bringing the public into close proximity of wild animals under duress. It’s time to end this practice once and for all.”

The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA) was originally introduced in November of 2016.