Los Angeles Bans Use of Exotic Animals for Entertainment

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"The issue of wild, exotic animals being abused came to my doorstep four years ago, when a baby giraffe and elephant were being marched up the Hollywood Hills for a house party," says Councilman David Ryu.

Use of exotic animals for entertainment purposes — such as at parties — is now illegal in the city of Los Angeles. 

The city council voted unanimously on the measure Tuesday, which applies to such animals as elephants, giraffes and lions, but does not include horses. 

“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 David Ryu stated.

Ryu noted: “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.”

Ryu introduced the measure in late 2018. Wildlife conservationists (with proper permits) and the Los Angeles Zoo are exempt from the law. The law bans entertainment wherein "a Wild or Exotic Animal or Dangerous Animal is required to perform tricks, give rides, or participate as accompaniment.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals as well as Animal Defenders International and the Performing Animal Welfare Society supported the measure. 

"Using petrified penguins, bewildered big cats and other wild animals as party props sentences sensitive animals to miserable, deprived lives in chains, cages and trailers, and can endanger partygoers when the animals get spooked," stated Rachel Matthews, PETA deputy director of captive animal law enforcement.

Matthews added: "PETA supported this progressive ban every step of the way, and we look forward to seeing the lights go out on the days of dragging bears, giraffes, elephants and lions to house parties."