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New York State May Ban Elephant Acts

Justin Ennis | Flickr


The New York State Senate passed legislation that would outlaw the use of elephants in circuses, fairs, TV, movies and any other form of entertainment. 

The bill was written by students at Pace University. They were in Albany on Wednesday with their faculty members, John Cronin and Michelle Land.

Cronin, a resident of Cold Spring and the senior fellow for environmental affairs at Pace, noted the only way to get an elephant to perform is to torture it and make it afraid to disobey.

“This is done with something called bull hooks," Cronin said. "It is done by depriving them of food, by chaining their legs. In addition to that they spend hours on end in trucks and train cars. It’s totally inhumane.”

It is expected that the Assembly will take up the bill in the coming weeks. If approved and signed by the governor, New York would become the first state in the union to ban the use of elephants in entertainment.

The action comes, coincidentally, days after Ringling Brothers Circus ended 146 years of performances with a final show on Long Island.  The circus retired its elephants a year ago.