By Bob Katzen

The Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Committee held a hearing on legislation that would ban elephants, bears, lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs and other animals from being used in traveling circuses and other traveling shows in Massachusetts. Violators would be fined between $500 and $10,000.

“It is cruel for any of these large animals to live a life on the road and be forced into an unnatural lifestyle,” said House sponsor Rep. Carole Fiola (D-Fall River). “Animal-based traveling acts have waned in popularity across the nation, with many companies eliminating animal-based models and now proudly offering animal-free shows. Currently, 14 municipalities in Massachusetts have local ordinances banning traveling animal acts and eight other states have already adopted these bans. Action is needed statewide to protect wildlife and ensure the humane treatment of all animals.”

“Exotic, wild animals are subject to abusive training as they are transported throughout the country and across the commonwealth,” said Senate sponsor Sen. Adam Gomez (D-Springfield). “The cruel exhibition of these various animals also poses serious health and safety to the general public. We must be intolerant to animal abuse and ensure the safety of patrons.”

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