When the U.K. announced its ban on all wild animals in circuses, joining other European nations like Austria, Greece, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the world cheered. More and more people are recognizing that an animal’s place is in the wild, just being allowed to live out their lives, not performing in a circus.

Now, according to New York Daily News, “NYCLASS, the animal rights group that’s been the key player in pushing for a ban on Central Park horse carriages, says it also wants the city to bar the use of animals in circuses — one item on an expanded agenda it plans to pursue this year.”

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As usual, the circus had the perfect PR line to go along with the proposed ban.

Stephen Payne, vice president of Feld Entertainment, Ringling’s parent company, said, “The circus has a team of veterinarians who make sure the animals are healthy, and is frequently inspected by local and federal officials.”

There’s a big difference between an animal being “healthy” and an animal that is thriving on both a physical and emotional level. Animals that perform in circuses are doing unnatural tasks that they would not be doing in the wild, and are deprived of their natural habitat, among many other reasons.

So far, in an effort to ban wild animals in circuses in New York, “Councilwoman Rosie Mendez (D-Manhattan) has introduced bills to ban the use of ‘wild or exotic’ animals in circuses in the last two sessions of the Council, but they have never come to a vote.”

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If you are in the New York area and would like to help in this effort, contact your city council member and politely ask them to bring this issue up again. If you would like to join NYCLASS in protest of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus opening night at the Barclays Center on February 20 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., sign up at the link. Help them to send a strong message that wild animals don’t belong in the circus.

Image Source: Angela N./Flickr