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Re: [AnimalACTionNetwork] The inside "poop" - Congress acting on circus animal bills

From: Alexis D.
Sent on: Saturday, October 13, 2012 3:20 PM
You should work with Colorado Voters for Animals, they do a lot with bills. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 13, 2012, at 9:39 AM, Julie  <[address removed]> wrote:

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.




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