BOSTON — The use of elephants and other wild animals in traveling circuses would be banned under a pair of bills under consideration in Massachusetts.

The bills would prohibit traveling performances by elephants, primates, bears and lions and other big cats. One bill has been filed in the Massachusetts House and a similar bill has been filed in the Senate.

Under the bills, anyone who violates the measure would be subject to a penalty of between $500 and $10,000 per animal.

The bill wouldn't apply to ``a non-mobile, permanent institution'' like a zoo.

Supporters of the ban – including the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Nonhuman Rights Project – say circuses subject highly intelligent and social animals to abusive treatment and life on the road.

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