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NYC takes step closer to banning exotic animals in entertainment

June 21, 2017 | Circus / animal abuse
It is certainly good news that Intro 1233, which bans the display of wild or exotic animals in New York City, passed 43 to 6 by City Council members today. And it is expected that it will be signed into law by Mayor Bill DeBlasio.
 
While this is cause for celebration—FoA testified in support of the bill at the public hearing last October—we shouldn’t be popping the cork on the champagne yet. That’s because it passed with an impending amendment, scheduled to be introduced next month...tentatively July 20. 
 
The original text of the bill notes an effective date of 180 days after it becomes law, which mean circuses like Universoul, who some council members outwardly supported and therefore voted no to the bill, are given roughly six months to become compliant. But that’s from the date of signing by the mayor, not from today.
 
However the impending amendment essentially will change the date listed in the bill that passed today to note a later date for implementation – in other words it will allow for additional time for circus proprietors to adjust their operations to comply with the law.
 
So, unfortunately, it won’t be a surprise to see circuses like Universoul dragging their exploited animals through the city another time.
 
Either way, kudos to Councilwoman Rosie Mendez for her determination to get this bill passed, because ultimately, at some point in the future, circuses who exploit animals will no longer come to town. It is uplifting to know that Ringling Bros. demise triggered the support from her fellow council members, and we railed against Ringling Bros in CT and NY for decades.  
 
“It has been a little over 11 years that I first introduced legislation that would ban the display of wild or exotic animals,” said Councilwoman Rosie Mendez. “We had our first hearing on Oct. 20, 2016 and since then Council Member Corey Johnson and I worked with NYC Council attorneys to address issues raised in the hearing. Intro 1233 is and always has been about the safety and security of animals, as well as and human beings. This legislation will ensure that animals are in their natural state, not confined in small boxcars and/or treated in other inhumane ways. Equally important, human beings will be safe from animals that may act ferociously."

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