BREAKING: California Bans Cruel Exotic Animal Circuses!

BREAKING: California Bans Cruel Exotic Animal Circuses!

The Circus Cruelty Prevention Act, which forbids using exotic animals in circuses throughout the state, was passed today!

Contact:  Fleur Dawes, [email protected], 415-879-6879


Sacramento, CA (Oct 12, 2019) - In Defense of Animals today welcomes the passing of the Circus Cruelty Prevention Act into law. First introduced in February 2019 by California State Senator Ben Hueso, the legislation bans the use of exotic animals in circuses throughout the state.

California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted that he “signed a package of important bills that will bring an end to the cruel treatment of many animals across our state,” referencing SB 313, The Circus Cruelty Prevention Act.

“This is a historic moment for the animal protection movement,” said Marilyn Kroplick M.D., President of In Defense of Animals. “There is no doubt that animals suffer greatly in circuses. The passing of this act sends a clear message that this type of cruel entertainment is no longer acceptable to Californians.”

In Defense of Animals joined a coalition initiated by the Performing Animal Welfare Society to support the bill, which was co-sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation and PETA. Thousands of In Defense of Animals members called and sent letters to their representatives. 

“We applaud the incredible work done by organizations and individuals who voiced their support and worked tirelessly to get this important bill enacted,” continued Kroplick. “Forcing animals to perform for our entertainment is becoming a thing of the past—something we are actively evolving beyond as a society. The groundswell of public support for this bill clearly demonstrates that.”

Wild animals such as elephants endure significant suffering in circuses. They are forced to perform mundane, degrading tricks and live in cramped, often filthy conditions. They are often verbally and physically assaulted by trainers, and ultimately prevented from making any meaningful choices about their lives. These abuses are endemic to the animal circus industry and can result in dangerous conditions for human trainers as well as guests since animals enduring suffering can be driven towards aggression and unpredictable behavior. 

California’s statewide Circus Cruelty Prevention Act follows similar local-level legislation passed in parts of California and throughout the nation which restrict or ban the use of exotic animals in circuses. 

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In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 36-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare and habitats through education, campaigns and hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.

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