State Bill Would Ban Wild Animals From Circus Acts

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Los Angeles city councilman and other animal rights activists threw their support today behind a state bill that would make it illegal to use wild and exotic animals in traveling acts.

The Circus Cruelty Prevention Act was authored by Sen. Ben Hueso, D- San Diego, who announced the bill at an event outside Los Angeles City Hall.

``Wild animals used in circuses endure cruel training, near-constant confinement, and are deprived of their natural habitat,'' Hueso said. ``We cannot allow this type of abuse to occur in California. This bill will ensure that these beautiful creatures are not exploited or cruelly treated within our state.''

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz has championed a number of initiatives supporting animal rights, including a ban on the use of bullhooks on elephants several years ago, and a recent vote by the City Council to ban the sale and manufacturing of most fur.

``Since the time when we banned the elephant bullhook in 2012 here in Los Angeles, there has been a shift of consciousness about the relationship between animal torture and entertainment dollars," Koretz said. ``This is an important next step in the effort to protect wild and exotic animals from being abused for entertainment purposes. I commend Senator Hueso for taking on this challenge."

Hueso's office said other local governments in the state have already implemented bans or restrictions on the use of wild animals in circuses and/or traveling acts, including Los Angeles, Corona, Encinitas, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Marin County, Oakland, Pasadena, Rohnert Park, Santa Ana and West Hollywood.

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