Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

NYC celebrates landmark ban on wild animals in circuses!

Posted: 15 June 2017. Updated: 28 July 2017


Update: July 27, 2017
Animal Defenders International celebrated this week with NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio, the passage of a landmark ordinance to ban wild animal circus acts in this world-renown city. The ban is now law, and goes into effect October 2018. Council Member Rosie Mendez worked tirelessly on this issue for 11 years, and thanks to strong local voices, Mayor de Blasio, and CM/Committee Chair Corey Johnson, NYC leads the way for humane entertainment.

ADI worked with Councilmember Mendez and city attorneys on New York City’s groundbreaking animal protection measure. America’s largest city has now banned wild animals in circuses ~ this is a significant advance in the campaign to stop circus suffering, as was the recent closure of the country’s largest animal circus, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Over 70 U.S. jurisdictions in 27 states have now taken action to restrict wild animals from traveling circuses. San Francisco was the first major US metropolis to ban wild animal acts, and Los Angeles City Council is poised to follow suit, having unanimously approved the drafting of a similar ordinance. Almost 40 countries around the world have now passed national prohibitions, with Romania, Slovakia, and Latvia most recently joining in.

Keep up the momentum with New York state bills

Update: June 21, 2017
SHARE IT NOW: NEW YORK CITY BANNED WILD ANIMAL CIRCUS ACTS! The misery of lions, tigers living in trucks, chained elephants and other animals forced to live in parking lots has been ended in New York City thanks to a measure sponsored by Councilwoman Rosie Mendez . THANK YOU NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL. Years of hard work saw victory for the animals today. It has been a pleasure to work so closely with CW Mendez and our fellow NYC campaigners on this life-saving measure. Local supporters and activists, animal groups, and concerned members of the public united in their determination to get the ban passed and TOGETHER WE DID IT! This is a landmark victory as the biggest city in the US says no to circus suffering. BE INSPIRED DEMAND A BAN ON ALL WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES WHERE YOU LIVE, AT STATE LEVEL & NATIONALLY!

Find out how YOU can campaign for a ban in your area here

Let your members of Congress know that NYC just passed a ban and you want to see it happen federally – support TEAPSPA

We are one step closer to ending circus suffering in the US. Help us continue this life-saving work

Update: June 19, 2017, the final vote has been scheduled! ADI’s General Counsel, Christina Scaringe and Gigi Glendinning, our Education and Outreach Manager will attend the NYC council meeting this Wednesday, June 21, 2017. NYC residents; please consider joining ADI (and bring a friend!) to this historic, not-to-be-missed event! And act today to make one last contact with your council member to shore up their support for this important vote.

Join us in NYC!

WHAT:NYC Council Meeting vote on Int. 1233, to prohibit traveling wild animal performances
WHEN: Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 1:30pm
WHERE: Council Chambers, NY City Hall, New York, NY 10007
RSVP: email

Updated June 15, 2017:GREAT NEWS! The NYC Council Committee on Health voted to pass Int.1233-2016, the bill to ban traveling wild and exotic animal circus performances! Thanks to a strong push by local advocates, Int.1233 now has 37 cosponsors, a supermajority of the 51-members, and will soon be voted on by the full council!

ADI has been working with the sponsor, NYC council member Rosie Mendez, since early 2014; we also worked with Health Committee attorney David Seitzer on draft language. Hundreds of local citizens and groups have pulled together to secure support. Now we need your help to bring this important circus animal protection across the finish line. Securing a ban in the largest city in the US will go far to encourage other cities, states, and the US Congress to protect circus animals. We need you there!

NYC residents—take action!

New Yorkers, help pass INTRO 1233 in NYC, to join other world-class cities like Barcelona, Bogotá, Rio, San Francisco, Santiago, and Singapore, as well as 35 diverse nations across the world that have acted in this regard. The circuses are pushing back and have hired a lobbyist, so your calls and emails are needed to get this important bill across the finish line!

Outside NYC, contact ADI for help starting a local ordinance campaign to ban wild animal performances in your community at

Find out how to support our federal bill here, the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act, (HR 1759), to ban wild animals from being forced to perform in traveling shows throughout the US.

Studies on the use of wild animals in traveling acts show that circuses cannot meet the physical or behavioral needs of wild animals. Animals are confined in small spaces, deprived of physical and social needs, and spend excessive time shut in trailers and train cars. These animals often demonstrate abnormal behaviors - rocking, swaying, and pacing - indicating they are in distress and not coping with their environment. ADI’s video evidence shows how these animals are forced to perform tricks through physical violence, fear, and intimidation.

We can’t help animals without you!

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