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H.B. 5123

An act concerning the use of certain animals in traveling animal acts

United States, Connecticut


H.B. 5123, an act concerning the use of certain animals in traveling animal acts, would prohibit the use of elephants and other nonhuman animals in circuses.

Wild animals live complex and emotionally rich lives in their natural environment where they can engage in their innate behaviors. Animals in circuses face a bleak existence, one where they are subjected to beatings, psychological torment, and perpetual isolation. They are deprived of their liberty, forced to live in cages and trailers, and prohibited from moving about freely or engaging in any behavior that is natural to them. These animals live vastly shorter lives than their wild counterparts. Their lives are filled with immeasurable cruelty and suffering, and sadly most of these animals find freedom only in death.

Our position

The NhRP strongly supports H.B. 5123. This bill is an urgently needed step to help protect elephants, nonhuman primates, and other wild animals from human-caused harm. Watching wild animals perform unnatural tricks does not foster respect or appreciation for wildlife. Rather, it teaches children that it’s acceptable to exploit and mistreat animals for amusement and provides a distorted understanding of the animals‚Äô natural behaviors. Americans are increasingly signaling their preferences for more compassionate treatment of our fellow creatures, both with their pocketbooks and their choices in entertainment.

Additionally, our clients Beulah, Karen, and Minnie, were exploited for decades by the Connecticut-based Commerford Zoo, which forced them to perform across the northeast at circuses and fairs. Beulah and Karen died in 2019 and Minnie continues to languish at the Commerford Zoo’s Goshen, CT property.

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