On Tuesday, April 25, the full Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a motion by Council Member David Ryu to instruct the City Attorney to draft an ordinance prohibiting the exhibition of wild or exotic animals for entertainment or amusement, including circuses, other wild or exotic animal shows, and rentals for house parties.
“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,” said Ryu in a statement released after the vote.
Ed Stewart, President of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) was also quoted in Ryu’s statement, saying “Los Angeles will become the largest US city to ban the use of wild animals for entertainment”…and “This ban reflects changing public attitudes that reject the use of wild animals for novelty and amusement, and ushers in a new era of respect and care for captive wildlife.”
Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the Unites States, concurred, saying, “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.”
Details of which kinds of animals will be banned from which specific uses won’t be known until the City Attorney’s draft of the new ordinance is released. (So no word yet on whether or not it would affect camel rides at the Larchmont Family Fair, which have been the subject of some debate in recent years.) When drafted, the new ordinance will return to the City Council’s Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee for review and approval, before moving to the full Council for a final vote.