Breaking! New Jersey Is One Step Away From Becoming 1st U.S. State To Ban Wild Animal Use In Circuses

Photos from Animal Defenders International

Following votes by the New Jersey Assembly and Senate yesterday, the State is in position to become the first in the United States to pass legislation banning the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses.

With a vote of 71-3 and 36-0, respectively, the bill now goes to the desk of New Jersey Governor Murphy, who has previously noted his support for Nosey’s Law. If the governor doesn’t sign or veto the bill within 45 days, it automatically passes into law.

Animal Defenders International (ADI), is amongst a host of animal welfare organizations supporting the bill and has worked with local advocates and bill sponsors Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji to advance the legislation.

The bill is named after a long suffering circus elephant named Nosey, who was confiscated and placed in a sanctuary last year, while her former trainer faces animal cruelty charges.

“The conditions Nosey and other wild and exotic animals are forced to endure are cruel and inhumane,” Cruz-Perez said in a statement. “These animals are not here to be used as entertainment for humans.”

“These are wild, endangered animals, and they should be cared for according to the highest ethical standards to ensure the survival of their species,” noted Mukherji.

Studies and evidence show that the health and welfare of animals in traveling circuses is inevitably compromised due to necessarily small, barren, mobile accommodations, restricted movement, long journeys, and excessive periods of time spent in transporters and containers. Training methods are brutal as revealed in ADI undercover investigations that have documented systemic violence and abuse of animals, occurring in the United States and worldwide.

Proving that attitudes are changing with the times, American audiences have been turning away from animal circuses in droves; several have closed, including Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, while others have gone animal-free and thrived.

Eighty-seven jurisdictions in 31 states have taken action to restrict wild animals from traveling circuses. New York City and San Francisco both have bans on wild animal circus acts; Los Angeles is working on a ban as well.

Other states are also considering bans on wild animal circus acts, with Hawaii very close to a statewide ban.

A federal bill to end the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling shows nationwide, the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act, is also gaining bipartisan support in the U.S. House.

Around the world, 45 countries have passed national restrictions on the use of animals in traveling circuses.

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