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