Today, the New York City Council, by a vote of 43 to 6 and with the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio, passed Int. No. 1233-A banning the use of wild animals in circuses in New York City. Sponsored and championed for 11 years by City Councilmember Rosie Mendez and supported by Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson, New York City becomes the largest U.S. city to pass such sweeping reform to help wild animals by banning their use in circuses and leading to the day when these animals, including endangered species, will no longer be forced to endure a lifetime of violent training, cages and chains. The bill will take effect in one year.

Brian Shapiro, New York state director for the Humane Society of the United States, released the following statement:

"For too long, wild animals used in circuses have endured cruel training techniques, constant confinement and consistent deprivation of all that is natural to them. The public has come to see that these animals are victims, not willing performers. New York City has taken a monumental step in ending this outdated form of entertainment and we urge other cities and states to follow suit.”

The HSUS applauds Mendez and Johnson for leading this path-breaking effort and seeking to close this chapter in our mistreatment of animals.

Four states and more than 125 other localities in 34 states across the country have enacted restrictions regarding the use of wild animals in circuses as a result of growing public awareness of the inhumane treatment these animals endure. Most recently, legislation was passed in cities and/or counties in Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey and Ohio.

On June 6, the New York State legislature passed bill S.2098b/A.464b to prohibit the use of elephants in traveling shows. The legislation will be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.

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