In the global epicenter of the entertainment industry, a major step for animal rights has just been made. The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban the use of wild or exotic animals in any form of exhibition or entertainment, barring them from being displayed in circuses and sideshow acts, as well as being lent out for smaller private events.
As reported by the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS National Council member Cheri Shankar played an important role in garnering support for the ban, while Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu directed it through government. The effects of this vote may prompt big changes in the entertainment industry. The last win for animal rights scored in 2014, which outlawed the use of bull-hooks in handling elephants, resulted in the century-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus pulling all elephants from its shows and subsequently closing in January of this year.
Los Angeles joins San Francisco and several other communities on the east coast, as well as 35 countries around the world, in banning the use of wild animals for entertainment.
“Wild and exotic animals have a long history of being exploited for public and private entertainment,” Ryu wrote to the commission. “Treating animals in this manner has taught generations of people that it is OK to view wild and exotic animals as toys. It is time that the city of Los Angeles takes action to make clear that exhibiting such animals in this way is no longer in line with our city’s values.”