NYCLASS, the animal rights group that has called for the ban of Central Park horse carriages, is now turning its attention toward animals performing in circuses in New York City. According to the New York Daily News, the organization is asking city officials to implement legislation that bans exotic animals like elephants from circuses. The United Kingdom announced a similar ban last year alongside Austria, Greece, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and NYCLASS says New York should follow suit.



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The proposal to ban animals in New York City circuses was announced in time for the annual Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in NYC. The show, which is famous for its performing elephants, is scheduled to take residence at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center later this month. NYCLASS and other advocates are asking the city to ban animal performers before the February 20th opening date.

In recent press conferences, Councilwoman Rosie Mendez (D-Manhattan) introduced a series of bills that would ban the use of wild or exotic animals in circuses to the council, on grounds that the animals are treated inhumanely, and that by supporting the circuses, the city is supporting animal cruelty. But circus representative  Stephen Payne of the Feld Company claims that the animals are fine, and are attended to by a team of veterinarians around the clock.

Should Mendez’s bill go through, it would protect performing animals including elephants, lions, tigers, dolphins, kangaroos, giraffes and armadillos. New Mayor Bill de Blasio has supported the bill in the past, but has not commented on any new legislation. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey would be the main circus affected, as the Big Apple Circus uses horses and dogs, which do not fall under the wild and exotic animals category.

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Via NY Daily News

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