Animal Humane Society position on animals in entertainment and competition

Animal Humane Society supports the application of the Five Freedoms in all instances of animals held in captivity.

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
  2. Freedom from discomfort
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, or disease
  4. Freedom to express normal behavior
  5. Freedom from fear and distress

Animal Humane Society believes animals used for entertainment or competition must be treated humanely at all times. They must be transported in a humane and safe manner, provided frequent opportunities for natural exercise, psychological enrichment, and rest. There must be no administration of drugs for non-therapeutic purposes. They must be housed and cared for in a manner appropriate to each species.

Animals must not be intentionally harmed or endangered for entertainment or competition. AHS opposes events or contests, such as chasing and racing that feature or involve the abuse of any animal. Such events can expose animals to pain, injury or death in the name of sport and desensitize the public to the suffering of animals.

We condemn animal activities deemed illegal, such as cock fighting and dog fighting.

We recognize the role of accredited zoos and aquariums in conservation and education. We believe removing wild or exotic animals from their natural habitat can be harmful. We oppose maintaining captive-bred animals for the sole purpose of entertainment or competition. The psychological, social, and physical needs of these animals are difficult to satisfy and maintain in a captive setting.

We are committed to legislative efforts to institute and enforce comprehensive laws that create a more humane world for animals.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline