California Bans Most Animals From Circus Acts

AP News
October 12, 2019 - 11:07 am
Chinese trainer swings a stick next to Siberian tigers as they perform at a private circus on rented space at the Heilongjiang Siberian Tiger Park on July 5, 2017 in Harbin, northern China.

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law banning most animals from circuses.

The law exempts rodeos and does not apply to domesticated dogs, cats and horses. California is now the third state to enact such a ban, joining New Jersey and Hawaii.

Circuses have been declining in popularity. The most well-known act, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, closed in 2017 after 146 years of performances.

At least 18 circuses don't use animals at all, including Cirque du Soleil.

Democratic state Sen. Ben Hueso, who authored the bill, said animals in circuses endure cruel training and near constant environment. The southwest California Legislative Council opposed the bill, saying it would prevent people from experiencing "the thrill of a circus performance featuring beautiful, well cared for animals."