UPDATE: After winning the support of the public, the Assembly, and the Senate, New Jersey’s measure to ban exotic animals in traveling shows fell at the last hurdle when Governor Christie effectively pocket-vetoed the bill by not signing it into law. Much to the disappointment of animal lovers everywhere, this means the bill must start from scratch in the new legislative term.
Brian Hackett, New Jersey state director for The HSUS, released the following statement:
“Despite the Legislature overwhelmingly approving of the legislation to ban wild animal acts, in the final days of the administration Governor Christie did not act on Nosey’s Law. We will work to introduce a revised bill work to secure its rapid approval and put it in front of Governor Phil Murphy for his approval. We thank the Legislature for its strong commitment to closing the curtain on circus animal cruelty in New Jersey and are confident that this will come to an end shortly.”
(ANIMAL NEWS/CIRCUSES) After overwhelmingly sweeping the Senate by a vote of 31-0, New Jersey now leads as the first U.S. state to ban traveling wild animal acts.
Last year, Illinois and New York similarly banned all traveling acts with elephants, but New Jersey is the first to prohibit all wild or exotic animals in traveling shows.
Circuses have been on the decline ever since Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey folded its tents for good in May of last year. As audiences turn away from animal circuses in droves, a number of jurisdictions are considering bans on wild animal circus acts–including a federal bill called the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act.
First introduced as “Nosey’s Law,” named after an abused circus elephant whose freedom has been the focus of a bitter public lawsuit, the legislation is not the first of its kind and it certainly won’t be the last.
Read on to learn more about the new law, which activists say has been a long time coming. — Global Animal
Around the world and right here at home, there’s a growing resistance to circuses that chain, beat, and jab animals in order to force them to perform confusing tricks—look no further than New Jersey for evidence of this as the Garden State becomes the first in the nation to ban traveling wild-animal acts.
First introduced as “Nosey’s Law” by Sen. Raymond Lesniak, the legislation prohibits the use of wild or exotic animals in traveling acts. It overwhelmingly passed the Senate by a vote of 31-0 just as the 2017 legislative session closed and is now on its way to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk for approval.
The legislation is named in honor of Nosey, an elephant whose freedom has been the focus of a bitter lawsuit between authorities and infamous animal handler Hugo Liebel. When authorities seized Nosey—who is lame and currently residing at an animal sanctuary while awaiting a decision on her fate—she was found tightly chained, confined in her own waste, and without proper shelter.
“Nosey is an elephant who is virtually crippled by arthritis, and who is forced to travel the country to give rides at fairs, flea markets, and other events,” wrote Sen. Lesniak when he first introduced the bill.
“The arthritis has likely caused Nosey unnecessary suffering and permanent disability, and reports indicate that Nosey has been denied necessary veterinary care. … Nosey’s owners continue to use her in shows. This bill would prohibit such shows in New Jersey.”
Last year, both Illinois and New York banned all traveling elephant acts, but New Jersey is the first state to go further and prohibit all animal shows.
The Garden State just showed that it won’t be long before we bid goodbye to all zoos, animal acts, and circuses.
No living being exists simply to be a spectacle or to perform tricks for human entertainment, yet all circuses and traveling shows that use animals treat them as mere props, denying them their freedom and an adequate standard of living.
Elephants, tigers, bears, and other animals in circuses are forced to perform under the threat of punishment with sticks, bullhooks, whips, and electric prods—by businesses that claim to offer a good time for the whole family. Torn away from their homes and subjected to beatings, isolation, and neglect, these animals will continue to pay the price for human greed as long as people continue to pay the admission fees to these performances.
PETA thanks Sen. Lesniak and the animal rights advocates of New Jersey, who proved that if we work hard together, we can restore the freedom that all animals exploited by circuses deserve.
Let’s end all animal acts!
While states like New Jersey, Illinois, and New York make progress for animals, Wisconsin’s government continues to operate Circus World—an archaic event with a long history of abusing animals. Demand an end to this state-sponsored cruelty.