Success! Another State Just Banned Wild Animals in Circuses

Just a week after New Jersey made history by becoming the first state in the nation to ban wild animals in circuses, Hawaii has followed its lead with a similar law.

Earlier this fall, the Hawaii Board of Agriculture approved a measure that bans dangerous wild animals, including tigers, lions, bears, non-human primates, elephants and crocodiles, from being brought into the state for use in circuses, carnivals and other public exhibitions – and it was just signed into law by Governor David Ige.

“The main issue is always public safety and health,” said Gov. Ige in a statement. “The concern of exhibiting dangerous animals in an environment where a large number of people may be exposed is significant enough to establish these rules.”

The threats to public safety surrounding animal acts across the country are an ongoing issue, but one of the most well-known incidents that brought it to light happened in Hawaii back in 1994 when an elephant named Tyke escaped, went on a rampage and was shot dozens of times by police before dying on a street in Honolulu.

That tragic incident helped raise awareness about both the dangers of wild animal acts, and the harm done to performers.

Thankfully for the animals who continue to be exploited, there’s no shortage of evidence showing that traveling circuses can never meet their physical and psychological needs. Not only has the inherent cruelty of using animals this way been exposed through undercover investigations, scientific research and media reports, we’ve also been able to learn about the heartbreaking abuses they’re subjected to behind the scenes.

“These reforms in Hawaii and New Jersey have been a long time coming. Wild animals used in traveling shows are subjected to prolonged periods of extreme confinement in unventilated trucks and trailers as they are hauled from venue to venue for months at a time. When they are not performing, elephants are chained or confined to small pens and big cats are kept in transport cages barely bigger than the animals themselves. The animals are routinely deprived of adequate exercise, veterinary care, or even regular food and water. There is simply no need to involve wild animals in any form of live entertainment. Thank you to Hawaii Governor Ige and New Jersey Governor Murphy for ending the year with these sweeping reforms,” said Kitty Block, acting president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

Thankfully, the public has continued to turn away from their use and speak out against this type of exploitation. Residents of Hawaii were given opportunities to weigh in on this ban, while more than 131,000 people signed a Care2 petition calling on Governor Ige to sign the measure

That kind of public pressure has helped more and more areas pass prohibitions on the use of wild animals in performances and cruel training tools, and hopefully it will result in getting a federal ban passed soon.

For more on how to help, check out Stop Circus Suffering.

Photo credit: Getty Images


Peggy B
Peggy Babout a month ago


Pietro M
Pietro Maiorana2 months ago

Complimenti a chi ha creduto e partecipato!!

ANA MARIJA R2 months ago

"Thankfully, the public has continued to turn away from their use and speak out against this type of exploitation."... 💕Thank You Hawaii!!💕
At 5:45 a.m. Faith in the human race restored for today :)

Mike H
Mike H2 months ago

Good news. Thank you

Leo C
Leo C2 months ago

Thank you for posting!

Sherry Kohn
Sherry K2 months ago

Many thanks to you !

Sonia M

Good news,thanks for sharing

Sherri S
Sherri S2 months ago

Great!!! Dallas help other states follow suit and all the animals are relocated to reputable sanctuaries

Paulo R
Paulo R2 months ago

great news

Daniel v
Daniel v2 months ago

Mahalo Hawaii!, great to see some leaders in our country with common sense.48 more to go.