Los Angeles has officially become the largest city to ban the use of wild animals for entertainment in the United States, thanks to a unanimous council vote.
This includes circuses, exotic animal shows and house party rentals according to a press release by city councilman, David Ryu.
Ryu was instrumental in getting the ban approved. He wrote in a statement:
Wild and exotic animals have a long history of being exploited for public and private entertainment. Treating animals in this manner has taught generations of people that it is okay to view wild and exotic animals as toys. Los Angeles must take action to make clear that exhibiting animals in this way is no longer in line with our City’s values.
There is a long and cruel history in the keeping of wild animals, and circuses have been notorious in their use of brutal training methods, including elephants prodded with sharp sticks called bullhooks and tigers whipped into submission.
Thankfully, many cities and even entire countries are opening their eyes to the cruelty, and have placed full or partial bans on circuses.
Los Angeles is not the first U.S. city to write such a law, but it is by far the largest, and hopefully others will follow suit.
Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the HSUS, wrote in a statement:
Los Angeles is again showing leadership on animal welfare by banning traveling wild animal acts. Tigers, elephants, and other wildlife are typically subjected to abusive training practices in order to perform stunts, and they endure prolonged confinement in cramped cages as they are transported from city to city. We commend City Councilmember David Ryu for leading this pathbreaking effort to protect animals and close the chapter on circuses featuring wild animal acts.
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