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Animals kept in captivity for entertainment purposes is a form of animal cruelty, regardless of any specific allegations of mistreatment, but they continue to suffer under willingly blind eyes.
The Federal Welfare Act that was administered by the USDA should be protecting these animals from this kind of horrible captivity, but the standards are extremely minimal and hardly ever enforced. 
Last Chance for Animals (LCA) founder Chris DeRose led an investigation into the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus to discover that the elephants were beaten across their heads and faces with baseball bats, pitchforks, and other objects. Bears had their noses broken and their paws burned to 'teach' them to walk on their hind legs. 
These animals are almost always taken away as babies from their homes in the wild , leaving them scared and separated from their families. They also have to endure torturous training for completely unnatural performing situations.
Tigers, like most animals, are naturally afraid of fire and yet are regularly forced to jump through flaming hoops, while the elephants are often restrained and beaten until they stop fighting back against their captors. 
Big cats are extremely susceptible to suffering from heatstroke due to their cramped living and traveling conditions,  and elephants have even been known to contract human spread diseases like tuberculosis.
Are you willing to speak up for the tortured animals who cannot speak for themselves? Because without our voices, their suffering will only continue.
Let's call on the USDA to recognize that circuses with animals are inherently cruel to the creatures involved. Keeping wild animals as entertainment for humans should be banned for good!
Animal-free circuses should become the norm, not the exception!
To the Secretary of the USDA,
Over the decades, wild animals have been taken from their homes in order to provide entertainment to humans on a large scale.
In many cases, these animals are horribly mistreated, beaten, and abused when they are behaving as their nature tells them to behave.
When people take wild animals from their habitat, expect them to be receptive to torturous training, it should be no surprise when they act out violently.
Research and numerous investigations have shown that not only do the animals almost never react positively to their traveling captivity, but also that their environments are totally unacceptable for daily living.
We are calling on you to help keep these animals in their natural environments, away from captivity, and leave the entertaining to human beings.