Press Release: Ryu Calls for Exotic Animal Ban

Los Angeles, CA -- Councilmember David Ryu, introduced legislation instructing the City Attorney to craft an ordinance which would prohibit the exhibition of wild or exotic animals for entertainment or amusement, including circuses, other wild or exotic animal shows, and rentals for house parties.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Press Contact:
Estevan Montemayor
estevan.montemayor@lacity.org
(213) 605-4145

RYU CALLS FOR EXOTIC ANIMAL BAN

Los Angeles, CA -- Councilmember David Ryu, introduced legislation instructing the City Attorney to craft an ordinance which would prohibit the exhibition of wild or exotic animals for entertainment or amusement, including circuses, other wild or exotic animal shows, and rentals for house parties.

“Wild and exotic animals have a long history of being exploited for public and private entertainment. Treating animals in this manner has taught generations of people that it is okay to view wild and exotic animals as toys. It is time that the City of Los Angeles take action to make clear that exhibiting such animals in this way is no longer in line with our City’s values,” stated Councilmember David Ryu.

Councilmember Ryu, citing Councilmember Paul Koretz’s 2014 effort to ban the use of bullhooks, called on the City Attorney to ban the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses and other wild or exotic animal shows altogether, with exceptions for conservation and research purposes, legitimate and well-monitored filming, and accredited Zoos.

The house parties of Hollywood Hills are well known for their lavish settings. An elephant, lion, and baby giraffe have been sighted as props for private events in the hillsides. The usage of wild and exotic animals, however, poses serious public safety concerns to the community. The animals suffer from performing the unnatural acts expected of them, especially when coerced by inhumane training techniques. In addition, humans are at risk from the public safety hazard that arises from animal mishandling.

“Los Angeles is again leading the way when it comes to the protection of wild animals used for entertainment,” said Catherine Doyle, Director of Science, Research and Advocacy for the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). “It is impossible for a wild animal to live a healthy, normal life while traveling and performing because of insurmountable compromises to animal welfare that include intensive confinement in cramped cages and pens, cruel training methods based on fear and pain, unnatural living conditions that inhibit instinctive behaviors, and the inherent stress of travel and performance. It's time to end this inhumane and outdated practice."

"Wild animals in circuses and other traveling displays typically have lives of unending transport and dislocation, deprivation, and long-term confinement. Trainers typically inflict punishment and pain to induce certain behaviors for performances,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the Unites States. “ Los Angeles led a national movement by banning bullhooks in 2014, and with this new legislative effort, it can raise the bar even higher. We commend Councilmember David Ryu for introducing this important motion to ban all wild animal acts and renew the city's long and proud history of protecting all animals.”

Additionally, the displays of various species of snakes, reptiles, birds, and primates on the public sidewalks in Los Angeles pose several issues with public safety and animal treatment. Numerous handlers have offered photos with animals including snakes and birds in exchange for a monetary donation. At times, the animal handlers are aggressive and the birds and snakes are tossed at unsuspecting visitors to force an interaction. The usage of wild and exotic animals in that manner, at times without permission from the visitors, are a growing concern for the welfare of the public.

Read Councilmember Ryu’s motion, 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, Silverlake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys.


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