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Circuses and Traveling Shows

The ASPCA is opposed to using wild or exotic (non-native wild) animals, whether taken from the wild or captive-bred, in circuses, carnivals and other traveling animal shows because of the stress, cruelty and physical, social and psychological deprivations that the animals inevitably suffer, many as a direct result of extended confinement and being on the road much of the year. The ASPCA rejects the claim that there is educational value in seeing wild animals perform unnatural or dangerous behaviors, as well as the claim that large, wild animals such as elephants, bears, lions and tigers can be trained without cruelty to perform these behaviors. Furthermore, exotic animals in these venues are not bred to propagate the species for return to their native habitat, but rather to provide a steady supply of young animals who are subsequently trained to perform. Note: Performing companion animals who accompany their guardians on the road are an exception, as these animals can be accommodated humanely.