WHAT YOU CAN DO
Animal Display Ban Pack
501 Front St.
Norfolk, VA 23510
5. Ask the USDA to enforce existing Animal
Welfare Act laws at circuses and other animal act events.
What to Do about AWA Violations
The Animal Welfare Act is administered by the Animal Care division of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The main area where APHIS receives information form the public is in the care and treatment of animals used in entertainment.
If you witness an animal at an exhibition (roadside zoo, circus, carnival, marine mammal show, zoological park, etc.) with inadequate food, water, space, or veterinary care, report the incident to APHIS. You can call or write a letter giving details of the incident, and the agency will send an investigator to the site. Contact the office nearest to you.
(Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylavania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606-5210
(Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas)
P.O. Box 915004 (letters)
501 Felix St, Bldg. #11 (packages)
Fort Worth, TX 76115-9104
(Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
9580 Micron Ave. Suite J
Sacramento, CA 95827-2623
APHIS's useful Web site, www.aphis.usda.gov, includes information about routine and complaint inspections of all individuals and facilities licensed under the Animal Welfare Act.
The APHIS Animal Care home page includes a "missing and found pets" page that allows people to advertise missing or found cats and dogs, and to include photos. This service also lets research institutions check to make sure they don't accept lost or stolen companion animals.
APHIS has the authority to take custody of animals whose safety is in imminent danger. Even if agents feel that the situation does not merit such serious action, they will set deadlines for correcting the mistreatment. If the exhibitor does not improve conditions by the deadline, penalties can be assessed and licenses revoked. Given the alarming number of animals displayed for profit, citizens must participate in enforcing the laws for abusers to be disciplined.
Remember that animals and facilities not covered under the AWA may be covered by your state anti-cruelty or wildlife statutes; in many cases, the animals may be covered by both. Your local librarian, or law library if you have access to one, can help you obtain information about or copies of federal or state laws.
Circus Flyer for Kids
Kids Coloring Book
Circus Footage and Public Service Announcements
WANT TO DO EVEN MORE? Go to our action alerts page.