Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

New Jersey Governor signs first statewide ban on wild animal cricus acts into law

Posted: 17 December 2018. Updated: 17 December 2018

New Jersey just made history by becoming the first US state to pass legislation banning the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses. Championed by Animal Defenders International (ADI), Nosey’s Law was signed by Governor Murphy on December 14, having previously passed both the Assembly and Senate on October 29.

ADI provided data and testimony in support of Nosey’s Law (S1093/A1923), and worked with local advocates and bill sponsors Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji to advance the legislation. The bill is named after long suffering circus elephant Nosey, who was confiscated and placed in a sanctuary last year, while her former trainer faces cruelty charges.

ADI President Jan Creamer said: “Having documented the inherent suffering of wild animals in circuses for many years, we are delighted Governor Murphy has signed this historic law. We hope other states will follow New Jersey’s lead to protect animals and the public across the United States.”

“The conditions Nosey and other wild and exotic animals are forced to endure are cruel and inhumane,” added Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez. “These animals are not here to be used as entertainment for humans.”

“These are wild, endangered animals, and they should be cared for according to the highest ethical standards to ensure the survival of their species,” noted Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. “We cannot allow ill-equipped handlers of traveling animal acts to mistreat and exploit endangered species.”

Christina Scaringe, ADI’s General Counsel, said: “ADI thanks Senator Cruz-Perez and Assemblyman Mukherji for their dedication, supporting the many New Jersey constituents calling for an end to wild animal circus acts.”

Studies and evidence show that the health and welfare of animals in traveling circuses is inevitably compromised due to necessarily small, barren, mobile accommodations, restricted movement, long journeys, and excessive periods of time spent in transporters and containers. Training methods are brutal - ADI undercover investigations have documented systemic violence and abuse, occurring in the US and worldwide.

Proving that attitudes are changing with the times, American audiences have been turning away from animal circuses in droves; several have closed, including Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, while others have gone animal-free and thrived. 88 jurisdictions in 31 states have taken action to restrict wild animals from traveling circuses including, most recently, PT Barnum’s adopted city of Bridgeport, Connecticut. New York City and San Francisco both have bans on wild animal circus acts; Los Angeles is working on a ban as well.

Other states are also considering bans on wild animal circus acts, and a federal bill to end the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling shows nationwide – the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA/H.R.1759) – is gaining bipartisan support in the US House. Around the world, 45 countries have passed national restrictions on the use of animals in traveling circuses.

Media Contacts:

US: Lesley McCave, ADI Communications Director | (323) 935-2234 or (323) 804-9920 |

UK: Devon Prosser, Press Officer | 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548 |

© Animal Defenders International 2019