Andrew M. Cuomo of New York closed the book on a famed and fraught chapter in the state's cultural history on Thursday, signing a bill that outlaws the use of elephants in entertainment acts such as circuses and parades. The bill, known as the Elephant ...
Kelly Ann, an Asian elephant, backstage at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2016, the year the circus phased the elephant out of its shows. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York TimesGov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York closed the book on a famed and fraught chapter in the state’s cultural history on Thursday, signing a bill that outlaws the use of elephants in entertainment acts such as circuses and parades.
The bill, known as the Elephant Protection Act, was passed in June by the state legislature after years of charges from animal-rights groups that elephants used in performances are subjected to inhumane and injurious treatment.
It comes late in a wave of increased efforts to preserve the animals. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which permanently closed its doors this spring, had phased elephants out of its shows a year prior. And the New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, signed a similar law pertaining to the five boroughs in July.
“The use of elephants in these types of settings is dangerous to their health and potentially abusive,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “The Elephant Protection Act furthers this administration’s efforts to fight animal cruelty, and create a stronger, more humane New York.”
The law, which comes with a penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, was sponsored by Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.
“Confinement, torture and unhealthy living conditions have led to early death for these intelligent, gentle animals,” the assemblywoman said. “Elephants will no longer be subjected to cruel treatment for our amusement.”
Ringling Brothers, which was operated by Feld Entertainment, retired its touring elephants last year to a conservation center in Florida, where blood samples from the animals are being used for pediatric cancer research. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals estimated at the time that 16 other traveling circuses still featured elephants in their shows.
We’re interested in your feedback on this page. Tell us what you think.
Elephants,Cuomo Andrew M,Theater,the Elephant Protection Act,Law and Legislation,State Legislatures,Circuses,New York State