September 18th, 2013 by Jack Carone
On Monday night, Sept. 16, with IDA in attendance and addressing their Mayor and City Council, West Hollywood, CA proved once again that there is room for compassion in politics.
Although there is an exemption for small educational audiences and for film use, the ordinance is a huge victory as it prohibits the exploitation of exotic animals in circuses, carnivals, trade shows and parades, and in any event forcing wild animals to do tricks, fight or perform “for the entertainment, amusement or benefit of an audience.” It was the stated hope of the council that this ordinance will serve as a model for other cities, states and the nation to emulate.
In addressing the city officials, Jack Carone, Communications Director for IDA, pointed out the lack of real protection for animals on movie sets, as the exemption in the current ordinance was based on a presumption that they are well-protected. Carone expressed the hope that the ban will eventually be extended to that industry, sooner rather than later. To fully honor the intent of the ordinance, it is IDA’s position that both exemptions should eventually be removed.
West Hollywood is known for its progressive stances for animals. Residents caring for companion animals are considered “guardians” and in 1989, the council passed a resolution declaring West Hollywood to be a “cruelty-free zone for animals”, banning cosmetic testing on animals and the use of steel leg-hold traps.
It became the first city in the nation to ban cat declawing in 2003, it banned the retail sale of cats and dogs in 2010, and a ban on selling fur will take effect this month.
West Hollywood now joins at least 55 other communities in the U.S. that have bans or restrictions in place on the use of animals in circuses or elephant rides. We encourage our supporters to initiate and support similar efforts in your communities. For more information on what you can do, please email mailto:email@example.com.