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Did NYC Just Ban Wild Animals in Circuses?

March 31, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

The Daily News reported that UniverSoul Circus is suing New York City for refusing to allow their elephants and tigers from performing. The Circus lawyers say that, “the city made new rules this year requiring the circus to get a permit to use exotic animals, then refused to grant the permit on the grounds that the tigers were kept in cages deemed too small and the elephants had not passed a tuberculosis test.”

Photo source: NY Daily News

Photo source: NY Daily News

News & Opinion

Activists in NYC have been lobbying City Council members for years to support a bill banning the use of wild animals in circuses, but the bill never came out of committee for a vote. When he was a City Council Member, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who took office in January 2014, was a co-sponsor of that bill. Did he decide circumvent the cumbersome legislative route by having the Department of Health (DOH), which reports to him, refuse to grant animal permits to the circus? The Mayor’s office and the DOH aren’t speaking publicly about the lawsuit, so the public does not yet know the backstory. What we do know is that the local activist community will do whatever we can to help the City defend its position so that no circuses can use and abuse wild animals in NYC. Please contact the Mayor’s office to thank him for taking this historic step to outlaw the exceptionally cruel use of wild animals in circuses.

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