Rescue Bears from Abusive Circus

performing bear

Target: Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture

Goal: Stop the abuse of performing bears by a traveling circus

Animal Defenders International (ADI) recently showed that a group of performing bears are living their lives as prisoners, spending 90 percent of their time in tiny cages enclosed inside a trailer. When they are released to perform demeaning tricks in a traveling circus, the bears are muzzled and restrained on leashes by their owners James and Tepa Hall. After the performance, the bears are placed back in their cages, which measure approximately 31/2 feet wide by 6 feet deep, and only about 8 feet high. We must urge the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to protect these bears from further abuse.

This isn’t the first time that the Halls have been caught neglecting and abusing their animals. In 2009, the USDA cited them for subjecting their bears to extreme temperatures. The USDA report stated, “Upon entering the trailer the eldest bear, approximately 33 years old, was lying on the floor of her enclosure staring vacantly into space. The exhibitor aroused the animal with treats then it proceeded to pant heavily. Surface temperatures were taken of the floor and halfway up the wall approximately animal height which ranged from 94 to 90 degrees. The outdoor ambient temperature was measured to be 92.8 degrees F with the heat index recently being in the 100s.”

The ADI investigation found that the bears were still being subjected to extreme temperatures. They are also being denied adequate light and airflow, as the windows in the bears’ tiny trailer are covered in steel mesh. The US Animal Welfare Act was enacted to prevent animals from being subjected to just this type of abuse and neglect.

We must encourage the USDA to shut down the Halls, and their inhumane treatment of animals, once and for all. By signing this petition below, you will help urge the USDA to end the abuse and neglect that these bears endure at the hands of their owners.


Dear USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack,

A recent investigation by Animal Defenders International has revealed that a group of performing bears are living their lives as prisoners, spending 90 percent of their time in tiny cages enclosed inside a trailer. The bears’ owners, James and Tepa Hall, have previously been cited by the USDA for subjecting their bears to extreme temperatures. This abuse cannot continue any longer.

The Animal Welfare Act was enacted to prevent animals from being subjected to this type of abuse and neglect. I am encouraging you to use your power and influence to cite the Halls under the Animal Welfare Act, and end their reign of inhumane treatment to animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bin im Garten via Wikimedia Commons

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare


  1. laurel mancini says:

    Bears are mammals. Humans are mammals. We like to stretch, lay on our side, walk around, get a drink, scratch our hip. Why would humans think other mammals are different? Where did these behaviors derive? From our long evolution from other life forms. Think on those. How abut a nice, hemp rope pulled through the tender part of your upper lip?
    How abut learning to dance by being placed on hot coals? How about never having quiet or room to roam? Think on all the stupid, unthinking behaviors we humans have perpetrated on our fellow creatures. Free the bears.

  2. Chris Speechly says:

    To the Halls — Please do everyone a huge favour and reassure us you won’t be procreating any time soon. Your moronic idea of entertainment might be passed along to a new generation of idiots.

  3. renee jeanine ragno says:

    Seriously Mr. Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture???!!!!!!

    This MUST NOT be allowed to continue. Those poor innocent, helpless, animals need to be saved NOW and allowed to live a happy life.

    And the Halls — they should be treated as they’ve treated the bears! They deserve no less!!!!!

  4. renee jeanine ragno says:

    Mr. Vilsac……get a set, show some…do your job and save the bears now and treat the Halls as they’ve treated them, no less!

  5. Once again, some people decide they can subject the animals around them to whatever they wish because they are greedy self-seeking and cruel.They do it because there is no one to stop them…so STOP THEM!!!

  6. Eileen goodman says:

    Please stop this unconscionable cruelty. We are supposed to be a civilized country. I am so disappointed by the USDA, and the dep’t. of agriculture, who seem to care nothing for the well being of animals. And wouldn’t it be great if the President, and for that matter, the Pope, came out publicly against all animal abuse, mistreatment, and neglect.
    The perpetrators of these acts deserve severe punishment, period. Wild animals should be in the wild, not in circuses.! It’s heartbreaking.

  7. Sheila Jefferson says:

    Please end this inhumane treatment now!
    Thank you.

  8. Why does it have to take thousands of people signing a petition to stop outright, blatant cruelty towards animals? The authorities should be on to this straight away and stop these creeps and prosecute them as harshly as possible. And where did they get these poor bears from in the first place? Did they steal them from the wild?

  9. Gandhi stated, “The GREATNESS of a nation and its MORAL PROGRESS can be judged by the WAY its animals are TREATED.” PLEASE do the right thing and shut down the Halls once and for all and release these bears to a sanctuary where they can live out their lives in PEACE. These are barbaric actions against these animals and can’t continue. THANK YOU!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




3816 Signatures

  • Carol Hall
  • Mark Bould
  • Carrie Wilson
  • G Petersen
  • Sophie Debbane
  • eve roberts
  • Janet Delaney
  • Jacqueline Donel
  • K.V. Adamski
  • Jeanette Fourie
1 of 382123...382
Skip to toolbar