Sun. Jun 7th, 2020

NYC Celebrates Landmark Ordinance To Prohibit Wild And Exotic Animals In Circuses

Animal Defenders International (ADI) celebrated last night with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the passage of a landmark ordinance to ban wild animal circus acts in this world-renown city. The ban is now law, though it goes into effect October 2018. Council Member Rosie Mendez worked tirelessly on this issue for 11 years, and thanks to strong local voices, Mayor de Blasio, and Council Member/Committee Chair Corey Johnson, New York City leads the way for humane entertainment.


ADI worked with Council Member Mendez and city attorneys on this ground-breaking animal protection measure for America’s largest city. NYC joins other world-class cities such as Barcelona, Bogotá, Rio, San Francisco, and Singapore, and 37 diverse nations around the world that have taken a stand against cruel circus acts. The Los Angeles City Council appears ready to do the same, having unanimously approved the drafting of a similar ordinance earlier this year.


Council Member Rosie Mendez stated: “It has been a little over 11 years that I first introduced legislation that would ban the display of wild or exotic animals. We had our first hearing on October 20th, 2016 and since then Council Member Corey Johnson and I worked with NYC Council attorneys to address issues raised in the hearing. Intro 1233 is and always has been about the safety and security of animals, as well as human beings. This legislation will ensure that animals are in their natural state, not confined in small boxcars and/or treated in other inhumane ways. Equally important, human beings will be safe from animals that may act ferociously.”


ADI President Jan Creamer said Animal Defenders International thanks Council Member Mendez for her years of dedication and determination to protect wild animals and the public. ADI has repeatedly documented the suffering and abuse of wild animals in circuses and applauds the New York City Council for its leadership in prohibiting these cruel and dangerous acts.

Contrary to circus industry claims, the physical and psychological health of animals in circuses is inevitably compromised. Animals in circuses are routinely subjected to brutal training methods and violence; wherever ADI has conducted undercover investigations around the world, we have documented acts of abuse. Animal circuses do nothing to teach people about animals’ real needs and the way they live; circuses have no role in education or conservation.


In the US, ADI worked closely with Congressional Representatives Ryan Costello (R-PA) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) to introduce the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA/ H.R.1759), which seeks to end to the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling shows throughout the US.


ADI recently rescued over 100 animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade in Peru and Colombia, including lions, bears, tigers, monkeys, and others. ADI collaborated with the governments of Peru and Colombia for the unprecedented Operation Spirit of Freedom campaign. ADI rehabilitated and rehomed the animals, and continues to fund most of their care.

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Photographs are Courtesy: AP

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