New York State governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last week that officially bans elephants from circuses statewide. The Elephant Protection Act—initially introduced as a bipartisan bill by Senator Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown) and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale)—will take effect in two years. “The use of elephants in these types of settings is dangerous to their health and potentially abusive,” Cuomo said. “The Elephant Protection Act furthers this administration’s efforts to fight animal cruelty, and create a stronger, more humane New York.” Animal-rights organization The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) campaigned for the ban for several years. “The extraordinary movement on this issue is a marker of the larger progress in our movement,” HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle said. “People understand that wild animals should not be transported from city to city for silly stunts, and they should not be subjected to often harsh and inhumane training techniques.” In June, New York City council voted 43–6 to ban the use of wild animals in circuses within city limits.
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