PRESS RELEASE: City Council Approves Exotic Animal Ban

LOS ANGELES - Today, the Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance led by Councilmember Ryu to ban the exhibition of wild and exotic animals for entertainment purposes. The ordinance, which began as a motion in 2016, makes it illegal to bring wild animals to parties or use them for entertainment purposes. On the Council floor today, Councilmember Ryu called the law “long overdue.”

 

CITY COUNCIL APPROVES EXOTIC ANIMAL BAN

 

LOS ANGELES - Today, the Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance led by Councilmember Ryu to ban the exhibition of wild and exotic animals for entertainment purposes. The ordinance, which began as a motion in 2016, makes it illegal to bring wild animals to parties or use them for entertainment purposes. On the Council floor today, Councilmember Ryu called the law “long overdue.”

“The issue of wild, exotic, and even dangerous animals being used for entertainment came to our doorstep four years ago, when a baby giraffe and elephant were being marched up the Hollywood Hills for a house party,” Councilmember Ryu said. “Whether in Council District Four or across our City, we have heard reports of majestic, wild animals being carted around for amusement at a house party. It is time that the City of Los Angeles makes absolutely clear that this abuse of wild animals is shameful, and we will not stand for it.”

The issue of wild animals, including elephants, giraffes, and lions being brought to lavish house parties in the Hollywood Hills has been a problem for years. The new law, which now heads to the Mayor’s desk for his signature, is supported by many advocacy groups, including Animal Defenders International, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), which rescues and cares for animals retired from the entertainment industry, and operates three wildlife sanctuaries in California.

“Allowing direct contact with dangerous wild animals is inhumane for the animals and unsafe for the public. Most people don’t know that wild animals used for public interactions have been taken from their mothers shortly after birth so they can be hand-raised and controlled,” wrote Catherine Doyle, Director of Science, Research & Advocacy at PAWS, in a letter to the City Council. “I personally have been involved with this ordinance since its inception in 2016. The ordinance includes stakeholder input and I urge the City Council to pass the ordinance as written.”

Wild animals have been banned from circuses in the State of California since last year. The new city law extends that ban to house parties and private entertainment, and includes a ban on any exhibition in which “a Wild or Exotic Animal or Dangerous Animal is required to perform tricks, give rides, or participate as accompaniment” for entertainment purposes.

Read the ordinance here.

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Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys.


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