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Advocate Spotlight: Jackson Holmes Advocates for Ban on Cruel Traveling Animal Shows

Jackson Holmes Advocates for Ban on Traveling Exotic Animal Acts

Twelve year old Jackson Holmes testified on July 24, 2023 in support of proposed state legislation that would ban traveling exotic animal acts using giraffes, bears, non-human primates, elephants and big cats. These shows not only subject these animals to abusive training and extreme confinement, but also place the public at risk of serious injury and zoonotic disease transmission. Learn more about this issue. Below, Jackson discusses what motivated him to testify on this legislation, what the experience was like and what advice he has for other young people wanting to help animals.

1. What made you interested in this issue?

My mom told me about the bill in Massachusetts that will ban wild animals acts, like they have at circuses and I wanted to help. I have always wanted to be a vet, I love animals, and when I heard that maybe my voice could help create a law to prevent this from happening, I jumped in to protect them.

2. What led you to testify? How did you find out that that was something you could do?

I love animals. Animals that live in circuses are not treated well. It’s not right that they have to spend their lives in cages; they should be in the wild. My mom told me that she was testifying, and I asked her if I could do it too because I thought I could do some good to help animals have a better life.

3. What was the experience like?

It was pretty nerve racking, but as soon as I started to talk my confidence just came to me and I felt good knowing they were listening to me.

4. What advice would you give other kids/teens who think they might want to testify in support of animals too, or who just care about animal issues generally?

Some advice would be to be brave and always look out for animals in need, because they can’t defend themselves. When you hear about bills that would protect animals, you should be strong and step up to help them pass, even when you’re young. We can make a difference too.

Bill to End Traveling Exotic Animal Acts
About Traveling Exotic Animal Acts
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