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The inside "poop" - Congress acting on circus animal bills

From: Julie
Sent on: Saturday, October 13, 2012 8:39 AM

Maggie – you are an inspiration to us all!  You are doing EXACTLY what all the studies are showing is the most effective way to achieve results for the animals – call your legislator’s office and lodge your opinion.  It’s easy to do and you don’t have to be nervous or think you have to be an expert.  Just a simple statement about you’re for or against a bill, that’s it J


Now, here’s the “poop” –


Recently, lobbyists from all over the country attended the Personal Democracy Forum 2012.  Shayna Englin, of Englin Consulting (her parents live here in Denver!) presented groundbreaking research she just completed on the most effective way to lobby your legislative representatives.  It’s a must watch!  I shared it with Big Cat Rescue, currently one of the largest lobbying organizations for wild animals, and they think it’s so valuable, they featured it on their website at:


As far as getting these bills passed, I’ve been told by those “in the know” that it usually takes about 5 years to get a new bill like these through Congress.  We are in a marathon for the animals, rather than a sprint.  It’s crucial to keep the phone calls and emails coming into Congress over the next few years, if we want to see eventual passage.  Especially when new legislators arrive for the next session.  So, don’t get discouraged or complacent – we’re making progress!


Now, all of this comes full circle with our Ringling demonstrations and appeals when you read the following from a very influential person who was just in Washington meeting with Congressmen about these bills.  The DC sources said that HR 4122 and HR 3359 will never get anywhere without Feld’s stamp of approval.  Feld owns Ringling.  Office after office have said that, unless there is an exemption for Feld/Ringling, the bills won’t go anywhere.


THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!  It seems Ringling is basically controlling the writing of legislation concerning captive wildlife.  That’s why we must educate people about Ringling!


I’ve attached a letter below that comes from Tippi Hedren. Yes, she’s the famous actress, but she’s also the owner of Shambala, a sanctuary she’s had for decades rescuing wild animals.  She drafted previous bills protecting wild animals and pushed them through Congress for passage.  She actually drafted HR 4122 The Big Cats & Public Safety Protection Act that’s before Congress now.  She is outraged that it appears Feld/Ringling has pretty much got Congress in his pocket.  The public needs to know that’s where their ticket $$ goes, too; i.e. Ringling’s lobbying efforts.


After reading Tippi’s letter/call to action, I hope you’ll all join us in rising up against this mega-corporation.  The animals need us to join forces for them and ACT as a lobbying force ourselves. Calling your representative (you can find your legislator here: ) is the way to do it. That’s what the Animal ACTion Network is all about!  So, let’s all join Maggie and make this happen!!






Dear  Member,


My qualifications in writing this letter are these. For 41 years I have been rescuing Big Cats bred and born in the US to be sold as pets or for financial gain. They live in sanctuary at The Shambala Preserve which is also my residence outside of Acton, Ca.  I sit as President of the Roar Foundation which I founded in 1983, that serves as the 501c3 Non- Profit California Corp. and the financial support arm for the Preserve. I served as Director of the Shambala Preserve until 2009. I was elected President of The American Sanctuary Association in the year 2000, which is an accrediting organization for Wild Animal facilities throughout the US, as well as a Wild Animal placement organization.


I have successfully co-authored The Captive Wildlife Safety Act which my U S Rep. Buck McKeon introduced in the House and was passed unanimously in the House and Senate. It was signed into federal law on Dec. 19, 2003. I have currently co-authored a federal bill to stop the breeding of the Exotic Feline for personal possession or financial gain. It is now titled Big Cats, Public Safety Protection Act, H.R. 4122, which was also introduced by Rep. Buck McKeon on  Feb 28, 2012.


It now sits in The Committee on Natural Resources under Chairman  Doc Hastings, and Ranking Member, Edward Markey. This bill is being opposed by a high powered special interest group responsible for extremely financially successful shows entertaining people all over the world, namely the  circus.


I'm not surprised about the circus....will no one ever stand up to Kenneth Feld and those involved in  the cruelest shows on earth? How long will cruelty win over those who try to  defend those without a voice....and where is that voice of protection in our government? I cannot and will not accept this cheap sellout of the very real  possibility of saving the pain of countless circus animals as well as all wild  animals bred and born in the U.S. to be sold for financial gain or as a pet. The  U. S. has always allowed this heinous act to occur, and along with that, it will give you a permit through the USDA to continue this insanity!!


Has our government ever delved into how many humans, adults and children have been killed or maimed for life because of these weak, dangerous laws? I co-authored a bill to stop the breeding of the exotic feline for personal possession or financial gain in 2007, brought it to my Rep. Buck McKeon, R Ca., titled 'A Federal Ban on The Breeding of the Exotic Feline for  Personal Possession.' It is now titled, H.R. 4122, Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. After the bill was introduced, following normal procedure, it  was sent to various departments for markup.


However, this time it was also sent for markup to special interest group Feld Entertainment, (Ringling Bros,  Barnum & Bailey Circus), which produces enormously profitable shows in Las Vegas and the world over! Kenneth Feld, the founder, who has been charged  repeatedly with cruelty to circus animals, pays the fines and goes off scott free!!!

Why is he in this powerful position?  Am I the only person who will stand up against Kenneth Feld? We all have access to information on him




This man whom you fear so greatly, you have the power to say no to him. The question  is, will you?....this is a moral, as well as safety issue.


My bill simply stated Stop the Breeding of the Exotic Feline for Personal Possession or Financial Gain. I will continue to fight for the right of the Great Cats not to be born in captivity, until it becomes law. I  would still like to continue my belief in the strength and moral fabric of our legislative system. H.R. 4122 must be passed for public safety reasons and because it is the right thing to do! You, as our representatives in The U.S. Government are the only answer to stopping the insanity of breeding Great Cats.  These are Apex Predators, top of the food chain, one of four of the most dangerous animals in the world  maiming and killing humans. Stop demeaning the life of the wild, dangerous animals by confining them to small cages to be used for financial gain. This bill is to protect human life as well as the humane treatment of the wild animal. Only you, who have one of the most  prestigious positions in the world, can make the passage of this bill possible. 


I thank you for your empowered vote of Yes on H.R.  4122!!!!


Tippi Hedren  The Roar Foundation


_www.shambala.org_ (



From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Maggie Couch
Sent: Friday, October 12,[masked]:56 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [AnimalACTionNetwork] What you can do to help circus animals today


Hello, again, LaNell.


I just spoke with Rita of Perlmutter’s office.  She and I have been speaking a lot on the phone lately, and I really like her.  She said that nothing much is going to be done during the lame duck session and that we are welcome to talk with Haley of the D.C. office but Congress won’t be doing much except acting on the really big issues before the new Congress is installed.  In other words, it would probably be a waste of everybody’s time to meet anytime soon.  I can’t believe the bill/act has been in limbo for almost a year.  That’s unconscionable, and Bob Barker is getting older every day! 


So I have put it down on my January calendar to get back in touch with Rita (even though Perlmutter won’t be my rep anymore because  of redistricting) and I will also then try to make an appointment with Joe Miklosi (or, God forbid, Mike Coffman) who will be my new congressional representative.  And I will be in touch with both you and Matt at that time.


Thanks again.




From: LaNell

Sent: Thursday, October 04,[masked]:04 AM

To: [address removed]

Subject: RE: [AnimalACTionNetwork] What you can do to help circus animals today


Thank you for sharing this, Kristal.  I would second Julie's request that everyone follow the link to the pre-written letter to your congressman asking him/her to support H.R. 3359.  This bill just recieved three new sponsors, so it is slowly gaining momentum.  A few weeks ago, I met with the senior policy advisor to Diana DeGette (1st District) to ask for the congresswoman's support on this bill.  She has yet to make a decision, so if any of you live in the 1st disitrict, it would be incredibly helpful if Congresswoman DeGette received numerous letters and/or calls asking her to support H.R. 3359. 
Thank you!

LaNell Haydon

"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer


Subject: [AnimalACTionNetwork] What you can do to help circus animals today
From: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Date: Thu, 4 Oct[masked]:19:28 -0400

This is fantastic Kristal! 


I'm sure there are so many more like her, feeling frustrated about what more they can do.  Would you please share this link with her:


It will take her to a pre-written letter to her legislator urging their support for HR 3359 - The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act. All she has to do is sign it.  This bill is before Congress and will restrict the use of exotic and non-domesticated animals from traveling circuses in the United States.  This would impact Ringling, Piccadilly, Carson Barnes, etc.


Also, it would be fantastic if she would write, from the heart, a letter to the editor of her local paper.  If it's the Denver Post, she can email it to: [address removed]


These are things she can do and NOT have to wait for Ringling, or any other circus, to come to town.  If we can get this bill passed in Congress, this will make such a HUGE difference.


Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful letter with all of us.


PS  If any of you haven't signed the letter to your Congressman at the link above yet, please take a moment to.  It's so important!


On Oct 3, 2012, at 9:49 PM, "Kristal Parks, M.A." <[address removed]> wrote:

Dear Meet UP Members,
I want to share with you the email I got today:
Myself, boyfriend, 28 yr old daughter went to the Circus in Denver, Colorado, 9/29.  That’s when I saw people holding up signs telling about Animal cruelty, and was handed a piece of paper explaining the cruelty.  I looked up some of this on line and saw it with my own eyes. I will never ever again go to a Circus, I am ashamed of myself for having even gone and they got our money. I love animals, no human or no animal should ever be abused in any way. I pray all the time to win Power ball just to help those that need it, it never happens. I wished I have the money to help but I do not, I have a father with terminal cancer, fighting for his life, willing to do Chemo to live, so I am spending all my money and time helping him on top of going to work. But the next time that Circus comes to town I want to be one of them standing out there showing even more graphic pictures of what they do to the animals, and really it should be a collage showing all the brutality, that’s the only way to stop these people. Who can we write in legislature to stop this.  Personally I have no faith in government or politics’ either, all they care about is lining their pockets. I’d give anything to call that Ringling Brothers or have their address just to tell them how ashamed I am of them and places like them and I will bad mouth Circus’s now every opportunity I get, I will encourage others not to go.

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