Westchester County bans circuses from using animals
Articles and Media Coverage From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Westchester County bans circuses from using animals

FROM Westchester.News12.com
April 15, 2020

Westchester County lawmakers voted unanimously to ban circuses from using exotic animals like lions and tigers on Tuesday.

The new bill, which is expected to be signed into law, also bans advertising for circus animal displays in the county and makes it illegal to use tools like electric prods on any animals.

Legislator Damon Maher, a New Rochelle Democrat who sponsored the bill, saidwhen he was growing up animals were an accepted part of circus shows as people weren't aware of the mental and physical anguish the animals were going through.

“We’re in a different era now,” Maher said participating the legislature meeting via video conference. “Now we know a couple things that we didn’t know then.”

The activist group Animal Defenders of Westchester has lobbied for a ban, but previous bills never got through the legislature.

Kiley Blackman, the group’s founder, said she was hoping to follow up with future pro-animal rights efforts like bans on the sale of foie gras and stopping the killing of birds for flight-traffic purposes at the Westchester County Airport.

“This signals a profound advancement for Westchester as a compassionate, intelligent community willing to learn and make changes for the good of all, including those who have no voice and no choice,” Blackman said in a statement.

Elephants have already been banned throughout New York state since last year. The countywide ban follows a similar ban in New York City and a policy in the town of Greenburgh within Westchester.

The bill passed in an unusual meeting of the legislature amid the coronavirus outbreak. Only three lawmakers in face masks attended the meeting in person, with the remaining 14 county lawmakers attending via videoconferencing to maximize social distancing measures.

Members of the public weren’t allowed to attend the meeting in person, but contributed to a public hearing dating back to March using written comments. Of the more than 20 responses, one was opposed to enacting the ban.

Exempted from the ban are nonprofit animal refuges or animals displayed for non-performing educational purposes by facilities accredited by the American Zoological Association or the Association of Sanctuaries.

The ban follows an executive order by County Executive George Latimer last month that banned the use of circus animals on county-owned property including the Westchester County Center. Several weeks before Latimer’s order, the Royal Hanneford Circus was in town for eight shows complete with lions and white tigers. 

Return to: Articles and Media Coverage
Read more at Stop Traveling Animal Acts


WESTCHESTER4GEESE is an adjunct of ANIMAL DEFENDERS OF WESTCHESTER. We advocate against all forms of animal abuse and exploitation, including hunting, experimentation, fur, circuses and rodeos -  https://www.facebook.com/Westchester4Geese