Albany, New York: On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Elephant Protection Act into law, which was earlier passed by the state legislature in June. Under the Elephant Protection Act (S2098B/A464B) no person or entity can use elephants in entertainment acts, which include circuses, carnivals, parades or trade shows. The law, which comes into effect in 2019, comes with a legal penalty of up to $1,000 (£758) per violation. The ban follows Mayor Bill de Blasio signing a similar measure preventing circuses from using animal acts in New York City.
Andrew Cuomo ✔@NYGovCuomo: Today I signed legislation banning the use of elephants in entertainment acts. Elephants will no longer be subjected to this cruel abuse. Elephants will no longer be subjected to this cruel abuse,”
“The use of elephants in these types of settings is dangerous to their health and potentially abusive. The Elephant Protection Act furthers this administration’s efforts to fight animal cruelty, and create a stronger, more humane New York.” Governor Andrew Cuomo added in a statement.
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who sponsored the bill stated:
“Confinement, torture and unhealthy living conditions have led to early death for these intelligent, gentle animals. Elephants will no longer be subjected to cruel treatment for our amusement.”
Animal rights campaigners argue elephants used in performances are subjected to cruel treatment at the hands of circus trainers. The legislation aims to prevent performance tricks that are never executed by elephants in the wild and that are stressful or harmful to the animal. Elephants used for entertainment purposes often suffer physical and psychological harm due to the living conditions and treatment to which they are subjected, resulting in increased mortality with lifespans only one-half as long as wild elephants.