Top Ten Ways to Fight Circus Cruelty
The ASPCA has been working to educate the public about the cruelty taking place under the big top since the late 19th century—but your help is needed! Here are ten ways you can help fight circus cruelty:
Don't Go to the Circus!
…Unless it’s one that doesn’t feature animal performers—and there are lots of them! Read our list of cruelty-free circuses.
Support Stronger Laws
Fight for state and federal laws that protect animals and raise the minimum allowable standards of care. Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to be alerted when it’s time to take action on animal-related legislation.
Attend a City Council Meeting
Counties, cities and even universities have succeeded in keeping cruel circuses out by banning wild and exotic animal performances. If you’re interested in passing a similar ordinance where you live, get involved in your local government.
Alert the Media!
Contact your local newspapers and television stations when a circus comes to town, letting them know about the cruelty often inflicted on animals who are forced to entertain.
Contact the Venue Hosting the Circus
Ask that the invitation be withdrawn and suggest an animal-free circus for the future.
Ask Authorities to Inspect
When a circus comes to your area, make sure the correct permits have been obtained. Also, contact your local law enforcement agency or humane society and ask them to make sure the circus follows local and state laws regarding the humane treatment of animals.
If you see something, say something! Report any abuse relating to circus animals to the proper authorities—the U.S. Department of Agriculture and your local animal control agency.
Set an Example for Others
Get the facts on circus cruelty on ASPCA.org and educate your friends, family and community about cruelty to circus animals.
Ask Local School Boards to Ban Circus Promotions
Circuses often engage in promotions with schools to encourage class field trips. Be sure to speak out against this!
Educate Your Children
Talk to your kids about why circuses are cruel and visit our children's website, ASPCAKids, for circus information written especially for them.