Governor Signs Elephant Protection Act

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the Elephant Protection Act, prohibiting the use of elephants in entertainment acts, including circuses, carnivals, parades or trade shows.  This legislation was supported by the Animal Law Committee, “due to the overwhelming evidence that elephants used in entertainment acts suffer from their training, use in performances and conditions of captivity and travel.”  The Committee argued that because existing animal welfare laws are difficult to enforce and offer elephants little meaningful protection, a complete ban on their use in entertainment acts is necessary to ensure the welfare of elephants.  The new law goes into effect in 2019 and will not apply to AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and wildlife sanctuaries.