It seemed the entire world celebrated when Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus finally brought down their tents and closed up last year. As awareness has spread of how poorly circus animals are treated, many countries (including India, Italy, Ireland, Iran, the Netherlands, Scotland, and Romania, just to name a few), five U.S. states and 135 localities (including Los Angeles, New York City, Santa Fe, and Portland, Maine) have banned the use of wild animals in traveling circuses and similar acts. And now Multnomah County, Oregon’s most populous region home to Portland, has joined this ever-growing group with a ban on the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses and similar attractions!

Circus animals are exploited in disturbing manners in every way, from the way they are acquired through the illicit wildlife trade, brutally trained with weapons and abuse, kept in extremely inadequate, unnatural, cramped living spaces, forced to perform show after show in dusty, noisy, crowded tents, only to be shoved onto a truck like cargo to travel on to the next town. Animals held in captivity in circuses are typically neglected and regularly exhibit signs of zoochosis, a serious psychological disorder common within captive wild animals often exhibited by compulsive, neurotic, often self-destructive behavior like pacing, swaying, chewing, and even suicide attempts. Additionally, keeping wild animals in captivity under such duress often leads to animals lashing out or escaping, which almost certainly leads to the animals being killed.


Multnomah County’s outlines for the ban cite the aforementioned facts as reasons to end the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling acts. The ordinance states, “Multnomah County is the Local Public Animal Services Entity and deems it advisable for the welfare of the County and the prevention of animal cruelty to prohibit traveling animal displays that include wild or exotic animals for public entertainment or amusement within the County.” It must be noted that while wild and exotic animals are protected under this new ordinance, animals considered “livestock” like cows, goats, pigs, horses, etc., as well as domestic animals like cats, are not protected under the ban.

To read the county ordinance in its entirety, go here.

Thank you, Multnomah County for taking a huge step in the right direction toward a more humane, cruelty-free future!

And remember to share this awesome news with your network as a reminder that positive change is happening!


Image Source: Pixabay