(ANIMAL WELFARE/WILDLIFE) LOS ANGELES — West Hollywood has successfully built a reputation as a safe-haven for animals by passing a myriad of legislation related to animal rights, including its recent ban on fur as well as its decision to prohibit cat declawing in 2003 and the retail sale of cats and dogs in 2010. The city’s most recent endeavor? The banning of exotic animal displays and performances, which successfully passed on Monday. The list of protected animals includes over two dozen species, from tigers, elephants, and giraffes to badgers, civets, armadillos, and even the Malaysian tapir. The ordinance includes a ban on animal acts in circuses, carnivals, trade shows, and parades—essentially any event that requires animals to perform in any way. However, it does not include a ban on animal display for educational purposes, films, or for groups of twenty or less people. PETA released a statement after the vote claiming West Hollywood had sent “a clear message” that the city welcomes entertainment, “but not at the expense of animals’ well-being.” Read more about the ban in the Animal Defenders International press release below. — Global Animal
West Hollywood has banned the display of over two dozen exotic animals for non-educational purposes, including the Malaysian Tapir, pictured above. Photo Credit: breakingnews.ie

Los Angeles, September 17, 2013, Animal Defenders International (ADI) is celebrating a unanimous vote by the City of West Hollywood to ban the commercial display and performance of wild and exotic animals. ADI has championed the ban in LA by exposing the terrible conditions suffered by all performing animals, prompting Los Angeles County Fair and Orange County Fair to end cruel elephant rides and displays.

The initiative, led by councilmembers Jeffery Prang and John Duran, will prohibit the use of wild animals in any form of entertainment which requires the animals to do tricks, fight or perform. The use of wild animals in circuses, carnival performances, trade shows and parades will therefore be prohibited.

ADI President Jan Creamer said: “We are delighted that West Hollywood has taken a stand on this important issue and hope that cities across the US will follow their lead and stop circus suffering. A huge thanks to councilmembers Jeffery Prang, John Duran and the West Hollywood City Council for being heroes for animals suffering for entertainment.”

ADI gave full backing to the ban, rallying its supporters and giving testimony to council members at the meeting. ADI penned a letter of support to councilmember Jeffery Prang which was quoted in the LA Times, detailing how the welfare of wild animals in circuses and other forms of entertainment is severely compromised.

Legendary award-winning TV host and animal advocate Bob Barker wrote to the councilmembers, “I cannot think of a better place to take a stand against the abuse and suffering of animals in the name of entertainment than West Hollywood – at the heart of our entertainment industry.  Therefore I applaud and fully support your efforts to eliminate appearances by exotic animals in the city.”

Bob Barker appears in the new movie ‘Lion Ark’, the story of the seizure and rescue of all circus animals in Bolivia following a ban on performing animals, funded by Mr Barker. Lion Ark is due to premiere at Mill Valley Film Festival, CA on October 5.

ADI’s extensive behind-the-scenes investigations and research highlight that animals used by the entertainment industry suffer deprived environments, unnatural conditions and violence. Moving potentially dangerous animals across open ground and in close proximity to the public compromises public safety and has resulted in escapes and injuries.

More ADI: http://www.ad-international.org/adi_home/