Animal advocates rejoiced earlier this year when Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus had its last show. This was preceded by public disapproval of the abuse and mistreatment of wild animals at circuses, which caused the long-running show to first retire its elephants from performing before shutting down entirely. And now there is more great news in this realm – New York state has officially banned the use of elephants for live entertainment!

The bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Westchester) and prohibits the use of elephants in circuses, parades, carnivals, and trade shows. Paulin had this to say in regards to the new legislation: “Elephants have been exploited and abused in entertainment acts for too long…Confinement, torture, and unhealthy living conditions have led to early death for these intelligent, gentle animals…Elephants will no longer be subjected to cruel treatment for our amusement.”

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The bill was signed by Governor Cuomo and will take effect immediately. Cuomo has taken the issue of elephants in entertainment seriously, saying, “The use of elephants in these types of settings is dangerous to their health and potentially abusive…The Elephant Protection Act furthers this administration’s efforts to fight animal cruelty, and create a stronger, more humane New York.”

Although this is fantastic news, we hope the state of New York will follow in the footsteps of New York City, and other cities like Los Angeles and Portland, Maine, and ban the use of all animals in live entertainment.

The best way to combat animal cruelty at circuses and other performances is to not buy tickets! The public has great power to ignite serious change, so please share this with your network as a reminder why we should never support businesses that exploit and abuse animals for a profit.

Image Source: tvdflickr/Flickr

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