Northampton, Massachusetts, is now the 14th community in the state to ban the use of wild animals in traveling performances.
City councilors voted 9-0 to approve the ban, according to a press release from the MSPCA. The ban now makes it illegal for anyone to sponsor, exhibit, or provide entertainment that uses live or exotic animals anywhere in Northampton. There is an exception for wildlife sanctuaries as long as they are not breeding or selling animals, or moving animals for entertainment.
“This is an exciting step forward for animal welfare in Massachusetts,” said Elizabeth Magner, MSPCA-Angell animal advocacy specialist. “Traveling wild animal acts subject intelligent, social animals like elephants and nonhuman primates to abusive treatment.”
According to the Northampton City Council, wild animals will be banned from being in the circus, public shows, trade shows, photographic opportunities, carnivals, city or county fairs, rides, parades, races, and performances.
“The animals endure cruel training behind the scenes, are subjected to prolonged periods of extreme confinement, and are deprived of the ability to express their most basic natural behaviors.”
“As the dark realities of the performing exotic animal industry have come to light, more and more communities are instituting bans like these while keeping their doors open to humane circus shows, like Circus Smirkus, that are just as thrilling for audiences but do not subject animals to abuse and suffering,” she added.
Thirteen other communities in Massachusetts have passed similar bans.
We can help these animals by not supporting the businesses that exploit them. Refrain from buying tickets to circuses, zoos, or movies that use wild animals. This will leave these companies with less financial support to keep their cruel practices going. If the demand for exotic pets did not exist, the exotic pet trade would not exist. So, if you agree that keeping exotic animals as pets is cruel, don’t support it either. Do not buy from pet shops or dealers. Leave the wild in the wild.
Animal shelters are filled with cats and dogs who need loving families and homes. You can also support the legislation to ban the ownership of exotic animals. With over 200 million live animal trades having taken place since 1975, governments must crack down on this cruel trade to protect individual animals and threatened species.
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