Today, the New York City Council made history by passing a bill banning the use of wild animals in circuses within the city limits—making it the largest US city to pass such far-reaching reform to help wild animals. New York City Council Member Rosie Mendez has been advocating for the ban proposal for 11 years and—with the help of the Humane Society of the United States, Empire State Humane Voters, Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson, and a large coalition of animal-rights activists—was able to bring the bill before the city council. The bill, which will go into effect within one year, points to the growing trend of public concern and disdain towards animal exploitation in the entertainment industry. In January of this year—after decades of pressure from animal-rights activists—Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced it was permanently closing due to a steep decline in revenue. In April, Los Angeles made a similar move when the city unanimously voted to ban the use of wild or exotic animals in circuses. Meanwhile, circuses without animal acts are on the rise, with circus company Ramos Bros. returning for it’s 11th year of shows—minus the animals.
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