Activists urge Massachusetts lawmakers to take exotic animals out of traveling shows

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Animal rights activists took to the statehouse Tuesday to call for a ban on exotic animals in traveling acts, like the circus.

Members of the MSPCA and animal rights coalition held a demonstration on the statehouse steps, which featured a life sized inflatable elephant. They made their demands to legislators loud and clear: take exotic animals out of circuses and traveling shows in Massachusetts.

“It is time for Massachusetts to ban elephants, primates, big cats, and bears in traveling acts,” said Elizabeth Wagner, of the MSPCA.

The group also wants justice for Beulah, a 54-year old elephant that died after performing at the Big E earlier this year.

“After decades of being forced to give rides, to preform for hours on end with no food, no water, no shade,” Nonhuman Rights Project Kevin Schneider said. “For us we now know elephants are so much more than we knew them to be.”

The Big E had said Beulah died from a heart attack and that she had outlived her life expectancy, thanks to the care of the Commerford family. But animal rights activists said someone still should be held accountable for her death and that’s why the laws in Massachusetts need to change.

The two bills were heard in the tourism committee earlier Tuesday, and even though lawmakers didn’t vote on them just yet, they are expected to make a decision in the next few weeks.

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