Los Angeles Council unanimously directs city to draft ordinance to prohibit wild or exotic animal exhibitions for entertainment

(Animal Defenders International Press Release) Animal Defenders International (ADI) applauds the Los Angeles City Council’s unanimous approval today of Council member David Ryu’s motion to instruct the City Attorney to craft an ordinance to prohibit the exhibition of wild or exotic animals for entertainment or amusement. The ordinance aims to protect wild animals from being used in circuses, other wild or exotic animal shows, and rentals for house parties.

ADI is honored to work with Councilmember Ryu and the City Attorney’s Office on this ground-breaking animal protection measure, which, when finalized, will make Los Angeles the largest city to pass such an ordinance.

Council member David Ryu stated: “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. It is time that the City of Los Angeles take action to make clear that exhibiting such animals in this way is no longer in line with our City’s values.”

ADI President Jan Creamer said “Animal Defenders International is working closely with Councilmember Ryu’s office on this effort and we know how determined he is to protect wild animals and the public from these cruel and dangerous acts.

“ADI has repeatedly documented the suffering and abuse of wild animals in circuses. Circuses simply cannot meet the needs of wild animals in small, mobile accommodation. We applaud the Los Angeles City Council for taking this important step today to protect animals in entertainment.”

Despite assurances from the circus industry, the physical and psychological health of animals in circuses is inevitably compromised. Animals in circuses are routinely subjected to brutal training methods and violence – wherever ADI has conducted an undercover investigation around the world, it has documented acts of abuse. Animal circuses do nothing to teach people about the animals’ real needs and the way they live, and have no role in education or conservation.

Guatemala recently became the 35th nation around the world which has banned either wild animals or all animals from traveling shows. ADI worked closely with Congressional Representatives Ryan Costello (R-PA-06) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) on their introduction last month of H.R. 1759, the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA), which when passed will see an end to the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling shows in the US.

Last year, ADI rescued over 100 animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade in Peru and Colombia, including lions, bears, tigers, monkeys and others. ADI and the governments of Peru and Colombia collaborated for the unprecedented Operation Spirit of Freedom campaign; animals were rehabilitated at the ADI rescue center and rehomed in their natural habitats, with 33 African lions returned to their native Africa to start a new life at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, where ADI is funding construction of their habitats and their care.

Join the global campaign to Stop Circus Suffering: www.stopcircussuffering.com

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