Today, the Los Angeles City Council passed a law to change Section 53.39.1 of the LA Municipal Code that makes abusing wild animals for entertainment purposes illegal inside city limits. In particular, the enactment bans the utilization of wild animals “to perform tricks, give rides, or participate as accompaniment.”
The law began as a movement in 2016 and is driven by Councilmember David Ryu, who speaks to LA’s fourth area. “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,” 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 statute—which presently heads to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office for a signature—is upheld by numerous animal-rights groups, including Animal Defenders International (ADI), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and World Animal Protection (WAP).
“Protecting the welfare of animals and the public, we are delighted this long-anticipated ban is now close to becoming law.
We are grateful to Councilmember Ryu and the City Council for progressing this important measure and call on Mayor Garcetti to sign the legislation without delay,” ADI President Jan Creamer said.
“With animals suffering in the name of entertainment across the country, and their use compromising public safety, we urge other cities to act and follow Los Angeles’ lead.”
According to WAP, 9,000,000 Americans house 17.6 million “exotic” pets and 38 percent of those “pet-guardians” don’t even think about those poor animals, “Animals used for entertainment, particularly at lavish parties endure immense cruelty for minutes of amusement. Elephants aren’t meant to be ridden, tigers aren’t there as a selfie prop, and giraffes belong roaming the wild,” WAP US Program Director Ben Williamson said.