Woohoo! Portland, Maine recently voted this week to BAN the use of big cats, elephants, and other animals from display in the city due to the cruel training of circus animals. In a strong victory for circus animals, no one on the council testified against the proposed ban, but more than a dozen supporters of the ordinance urged the council to adopt the ban and hope the state of Maine will soon follow suit.
The ordinance will prohibit lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes, monkeys, elephants, and kangaroos, as well as crocodiles, seals, walruses, and sharks, among other animals from being forced to perform meaningless circus acts. Cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and goats are sadly exempt from the ban but this is still definite progress for animals. Violations of the ordinance can result in a fine up to $500.
The ordinance was first introduced in June of 2017 by City Councilor Brian Baton, where it was referenced to the council’s Health and Human Services Committee, receiving a unanimous recommendation to the full council. “We can all recognize the fact these practices are outdated. They are not only cruel – they are inhumane,” Batson told the Press Herald.
With the abundance of undercover footage, revealing the suffering circus animals endure, including investigations led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that exposed tigers being starved for days and whipped profusely as a “training” technique in traveling circuses in America, this important ordinance couldn’t come a moment sooner.
Portland joins 100 other municipalities nationwide to pass a ban on the display of wild and exotic animals. Many countries and major U.S. cities like Los Angeles, San Fransico and New York City have already banned the use of wild animals for “entertainment”. Legislation to restrict the use of wild animals in circuses has also been passed in cities and/or counties in Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey and Ohio as a result of the growing public awareness of the inhumane treatment the animals endure.
Soon, using animals in entertainment will be something only seen in history books. By boycotting circuses, zoos, and any other wild animal attraction, we can send the message that cruelty to animals is unacceptable and should be stopped. Share this happy news with all of the animal lovers you know!
Way to go, Portland!
Image source: Megan Coughlin/Flickr