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LCA Blog

Blog for Last Chance for Animals, an international non-profit dedicated to ending animal cruelty and exploitation.

These Circuses are Still Exploiting Animals - How You Can Help

CircusElephantsThis year has seen tremendous victories for animals in circuses. Ringling Bros. Circus, the cruelest show on earth, finally closed in May 2017, after 146 years. The final performance marked the end of a cruel era of Ringling subjecting wild animals to horrific training methods and forcing them to perform demeaning, unnatural tricks out of fear. The end of Ringling Bros. is a hard-won victory that followed decades of investigations and protests by LCA, concerned citizens and other animal advocacy organizations.

In further fantastic news, numerous countries and cities including India, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, New York, and Portland, all instituted bans on circus acts using animals—a huge step forward in the fight against the use and mistreatment of animals for entertainment. While we are pleased by these positive changes, many circuses continue to exploit animals for profit. In heartbreaking news this fall, a former Ringling Bros. performer named Suzy was shot and killed after escaping a transport truck while being transferred to another circus. Clearly, Ringling’s closure did not bring about freedom for all of the animals under the circus’ care.

Numerous circuses continue to abuse and exploit captive wildlife and domestic animals. Forced to entertain audiences against their will, these animals endure a lifetime of violent training practices—including beatings, electrocution, and starvation— constant confinement, and demeaning performances.

The most impactful ways to help animals imprisoned by circuses is to boycott and protest these exploitative attractions and support legislative efforts aiming to ban the use of wild animals in traveling shows. Additionally, by organizing a protest, animal advocates can take a public stance against cruelty and inform circus attendees of the abuse they are supporting, encouraging them to make more compassionate choices in the future. Below is a list of circuses that are currently using animal performers. Please be aware of when these circuses visit your area, and be prepared to take action for animals when they do.

  • Big Apple Circus1
  • Carden Circus
  • Carson & Barnes
  • Circus Flora
  • Circus Gatti
  • Circus Pages
  • Culpepper & Merriweather
  • Garden Bros Circus
  • Hamid Circus
  • Jordan World Circus
  • Kelly Miller Circus
  • Loomis Bros Circus
  • Oasis Shrine & Shrine
  • RJ Circus United
  • Royal Hanneford Circus
  • Stardust Circus
  • Tarzan Zerbini Circus
  • Universoul Circus


  1. If a circus using animals visits your area, consider participating in or organizing a protest. There are two upcoming protests in Florida—on January 16th and 28th, 2018
  2. Do not attend circuses that use animals. There are many forms of entertainment that don’t involve animal cruelty.
  3. Write letters to your local and state representatives urging them to introduce legislation to prohibit travelling animal acts in your city or state.
  4. The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (H.R.6342) will prohibit the use of wild animals in traveling shows. Find your representative here and urge them to support this important bill.
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