Victory! San Francisco Votes to Ban Wild Animal Performances

In another awesome victory for wild and exotic animals used in entertainment, this week the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban their use in circuses and shows.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the new measure is intended to “protect wild and exotic animals from cruel and inhumane treatment and to protect the public from the danger posed by the use of wild and exotic animals for entertainment.”

While it won’t impact domestic animals, or educational activities, the ordinance will “prohibit any individual or entity from causing a performance in which a wild or exotic animal is required to perform tricks, fight, or participate as an accompaniment for the entertainment, amusement or benefit of an audience.”

Not only will this keep circuses out, but it will also impact the use of wild animals in movies and television – much to the disappointment of the Motion Picture Association of America, which came forward to oppose the measure.

Supervisor Katy Tang, who introduced the measure last month, told the board, “We want to address the inequalities for a population that can’t speak for themselves.”

While many people may enjoy the opportunity to see animals like lions, tigers and elephants in person, animal advocates continue to argue that the cruelty that comes with their existence as performers should far outweigh any desire we have to see them in this environment.

Today, efforts to stop their suffering and victories won on their behalf continue to grow across the nation as we become more aware about the problems with using these intelligent, social animals for our amusement. Not only are they restricted to a life of confinement in barren enclosures, forced to travel long distances and denied the opportunity to engage in anything that resembles their natural behaviors, but many are also be subjected to abuse behind the scenes that ranges from having food withheld to being blatantly mistreated.

According to Reuters, the new measure is expected to be enacted after a final vote next week, making San Francisco the largest city to adopt such a comprehensive ban on the use of wild and exotic animals for entertainment.

California has already made some great progress with several other cities passing bans or restrictions on the use of wild animals, while Los Angeles and Oakland successfully moved to keep circus elephants out by banning the use of bullhooks.

When Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, announced it would be retiring its performing elephants, it acknowledged that these local bans helped play a role in the decision.

Now statewide legislation (SB 716) is being considered to protect elephants from abuse by banning bullhooks, or any other training tool that causes them physical pain. If it passes, it will effectively keep any circuses with elephants out of California.

Nationally, lawmakers are also considering the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, which would would end the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses over concerns about their welfare and the safety risks they pose to us. You can help keep up the momentum to stop circus suffering by signing and sharing the petition urging your rep to support this groundbreaking legislation.


Photo credit: Thinkstock


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Ben Oscarsito
Ben O2 years ago

What if a million members would Care2 make difference...?

Brian F.
Brian F2 years ago

Excellent news. We need to extend the ban nationwide.

Charity Mission
Charity Mission2 years ago

Excellent news. All the hard work paying off. Thanks for sharing

Susan Buckland
Susan B2 years ago

Amazing news San Francisco! Banning wild animal performances is a good step in the right direction for animals - but we have a long, long way to go. ALL animal lovers must get the message out to everyone you know that animals are NOT here for our entertainment in any way shape or form. If the general public stops handing over hard earned cash to see wild beasts humiliated and beaten into submission, then the cruel perpetrators will have no reason to continue to capture and enslave these animals.

Valentina R.
Valentina R2 years ago

Boycott circuses, zoos and sea parks, and ask your friends to do the same.

Sarah Crockett
Sarah Crockett2 years ago

Good news. Thanks for sharing.

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper2 years ago

noted ty

Albert Russ
Marcus Lew2 years ago


elsa mossberg
elsa M2 years ago

Good news! :} thankyou