Bob Barker Speaking Out Against the Circus

Supports legislation that would ban exotic animals from performing

Wednesday, Nov 2, 2011  |  Updated 12:08 PM EDT
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Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey perfomers on Capitol hill in March 2011. Legislation supported by Bob Barker and Jim Moran would curtail the use of exotic animals in circus acts.

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Former Price is Right host Bob Barker, is teaming up with Virginia congressman Jim Moran to take on the circus.

“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," Barker said in a statement.

Barker, a long time animal advocate, is speaking to lawmakers to show his support for the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act.  The legislation would restrict the use of exotic and wild animals, like elephants and tigers, in traveling circuses. 

Barker says circus animals suffer greatly for a number of reasons: they are kept in small cages, are often beaten with clubs and whips, are forced to do things they wouldn't naturally do.  He says that in some cases circus handlers starve the animals to get them to perform tricks.

Democrat Jim Moran is an animal lover who has pushed previous legislation dealing with animal cruelty.  Supporters of the bill say it has bipartisan support.

"This legislation is intended to target the most egregious situations involving exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses,” said Rep. Jim Moran at a press conference Wednesdsay.   “Keeping elephants in chains, confining lions and tigers in small cages, forcing them to perform unnatural tricks for the sole purpose of human amusement is increasingly difficult to justify the more we learn about these intelligent, social creatures.”

This August, Barker wrote a letter to the city of Rockville, urging the city council to ban deer hunting.  In his letter, he said bow hunting was not fair for the deer that were shot, and the other deer that witnessed the shooting.

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