Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned the use of elephants in entertainment acts like circuses and carnivals within the state of New York on Thursday. The act was adopted this past spring after reports of curelty against elephants by circus trainers surfaced.
Cuomo’s Elephant Protection Act comes on the heels of a likeminded ban in New York City that was signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in July.
“The use of elephants in these types of settings is dangerous to their health and potentially abusive,” the governor said. “The Elephant Protection Act furthers this administration’s efforts to fight animal cruelty and create a stronger, more humane New York.”
Earlier this year, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus shuttered after 146 years following a steady decline in ticket sales. Operated by Feld Entertainment, the circus held its final show at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island in May.
Last year, the circus stopped using elephants in its show due to longtime backlash from animal rights groups. The elephants were retired at the circus’ Florida sanctuary.
Additionally, Gov. Cuomo announced that he was starting the $5 million “Companion Animal Capital Fund,” which will assist in upgrading animal shelters via matching grants “to continue their important work of finding these pets a loving home in New York,” he said.