This won’t be the first time that Bob Barker and Jorja Fox have spoken up for animals. Bob Barker is a long-time animal advocate and just recently helped get three Toronto Zoo elephants retired to a sanctuary. Jorja Fox has worked with Animal Defenders International (ADI) before, joining their campaign to end animal cruelty in circuses.

Today, though, the two stars are speaking up for circus animals in a big way. Barker and Fox will join organizations including ADI in Washington, D.C. to help launch the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act. According to ADI, the bill, sponsored by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), would “restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses,” and end the “random cruelty and neglect” found in these circuses. ” This is the first time a bill will cover the use of all wild animals by all United States circuses.

In a press release from ADI, Barker said “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.” Fox, star of CSI, agrees and asked Congress to act, saying “Congress has a responsibility to protect the welfare of animals and ensure public safety. A prohibition on the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses is proportionate, responsible, the least expensive solution to this problem, and long overdue.  We call on Congress to bring to an end, once and for all, the abuse and suffering that has been exposed by ADI time and time again.” Other celebrity supporters of ADI’s circus campaign have included Corey and Suzy Feldman, Alicia Silverstone, Kim Basinger, Ricky Gervais, Sir Paul McCartney, Brian May and Twiggy.

ADI will also show a new video, ‘In the United States today…’, at today’s launch, featuring footage from their circus cruelty investigations, including “violence, confinement and deprivation.” ADI President Jan Creamer says of today’s event, “This is a historic day, this is about America standing up and saying these magnificent animals should not be abused in the name of entertainment. The days of animals suffering in traveling circuses are numbered not just here in the US but all over the world.  Due to severe confinement, lack of free exercise, and the restriction of natural behaviors, animals used in traveling circuses suffer and are prone to health, behavioral, and psychological problems. With the support of Bob Barker, ADI has exposed, time and again, that the use of violence to control animals is part of circus culture. In the U.S. we have seen animals beaten, whipped and electric shocked to make them perform tricks.  We have shown that welfare and public safety are unacceptably compromised in traveling circuses. This brutality now needs to stop – for good.”

ADI has previously helped to achieve bans on wild animals in circuses in several other countries including Bolivia, where they then flew every circus animal out of the country and into the United States where they were relocated to sanctuaries. Legislation banning or limiting wild animal circuses has also passed in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Peru, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and India among others, with laws currently being proposed in the UK, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Greece. The organization believes that this US bill has massive support.

You can watch the historic launch live on ADI’s website this morning at 10:30am EST.

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

View all posts by Jennifer Mishler →
  • Vegan Aquawoman

    YES YES YES GO GET ‘EM!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This absolutely has to end. It is beyond my comprehension how this is still allowed to continue. People just want to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that everything is fine. At circuses when we show the families pictures and videos of the TRUTH, the parents get angry at us. Unbelievable. What you don’t want your children to see, YOU ARE PAYING TO SUPPORT. Make the connection!!!!

    BEST OF LUCK- I truly hope this gets passed!!!

  • Jerson

    Can these low lives find anything better to do than RAISE unemployment? This bill has no merit save for rhetoric. All of the science and research is in favor of circuses, zoos, and others. What exactly do they plan to do with these “freed” animals if it passes?

  • ForChrist

    So aborting millions of human fetuses annually is fine, but, circus animals need our priority?

    • Grace

      For Christ- The Lord Jesus Christ is the first person who would have pass this Bill, in fact He is bringing it about in answer to many many Christian’ prayers- those who truly follow Him- not like you who talk nonsense by bringing about a totally different issue. Abortions are performed by people -not animals. I highly advise you to start saving your money to take care of all the unborn who you are willing to take care of if their parents want to consider abortion. The first place you should preach this to is the various Churches of America and Evangelists who just take money and mostly use it for their own gain. I’m a Christian- I know.

      God Bless this Bill and God Bless these people and all of God’s creatures, including the 4-legged kind.

      • http://paulineheidy.com Pauline

        Amen!!!!!

  • georgina

    @Jerson – “All of the science and research is in favor of circuses, zoos, and others” can you explain how, please?

    @ForChrist – This posting is about circus animals so yes, for the purposes of the post circus animals do have priority because nobody is talking about abortion. I think you are in the wrong blog.

  • Suasoria

    Jerson, I see it as potentially a net job *gain.* The animals will go to sanctuaries, who will then need to hire more caretakers, and the circuses will hire human performers to jump through hoops and stand on tiny boxes. Win-win-win.

  • groovygirl

    Hey For Christ, look up the work speciesism and tell me who said the human species is inherently superior to other species. I would argue we’re far lower but that’s just me. Elephants can hear and communicate over a 6 mile distance, can we do that? Sure with a telephone but they don’t need that. Amazing animals that if we don’t kill them all, will out live us for sure.

    And Jerson? Are you nuts? Have you seen the abuse these animals endure? And you’re okay with that because it keeps people employed? I assume you would have been a-ok with slavery since that kept a bunch of people employed albeit for low wages, and let’s not crack down on pimps because they keep prostitutes employed. I mean, some jobs NEED to go bye bye.

    You people tire me so.

  • http://www.oksaveadog.org k9saver

    After this Bob PLEASE go work on Spay & neuter legislation, Killing 10 million plus healthy loving dogs and cats in this country annually should be outlawed!

    SPAY NEUTER!!!

    • Vanillafrosts

      I really wish Bob Barker would start a campaign against puppy mills. I feel like he might be able to make a difference.