NJ Considers Banning Elephants From State Carnivals, Circuses

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – A proposal approved this week in a New Jersey Senate committee could change what happens when the circus comes to town.

“We will be the first state in the nation to ban elephants in circuses,” Union County Democrat Raymond Lesniak told KYW Newsradio, “particularly because they are subject to the most cruel circumstances of any elephants.”

Supporters of the outright ban point to one elephant in particular, Nosey, that’s become almost a poster child for the problem. Her owner’s been cited time and again for animal cruelty around the country, yet she’s still dragged out to carry kids and perform on demand.

Ringling Brothers is phasing out elephants from their shows, they say, for financial reasons. Lesniak says his bill looks solely at the conditions many of these elephants live with daily.

“They’re huge animals. They’re kept in tight quarters,” he said. “These bull hooks that are needed to move them around are very harmful to them.”

Bull hooks are banned in two states, Rhode Island and California.

The bill now goes to the full senate for consideration. No action’s been taken in the Assembly and there’s no word on where Governor Chris Christie comes down on the proposal.

Bottom line: supporters of the proposed pachyderm prohibition have a lot of work to do.

More from David Madden

One Comment

  1. Lets see now…NJ legislator wants to ban elephants from performing in N J because some elephants are alleged to be abused? So, all the other elephants that are not being abused cannot perform either? Hmmm…now since we have some parents who torture and kill their children, do we make it illegal to have children? Not so far. These kinds of laws that ban ALL of any normal activity are simply wrong and harmful. Harmful to the general public and harmful to the animals they purport to protect. Unintended consequences follow such laws. They are unreasonable. It looks like this legislator has bought the PETA propaganda about elephants and their care rather than actually learning facts about elephant care. The end result of these kinds of laws will be the loss of elephants in the US where they are safe from poachers. It is a fact that elephants may become extinct due to poaching…and these kinds of legislative bans don’t do a damn thing to protect elephants or their future on the planet.

  2. Jesse Peterson says:

    Maybe Raymond can let his fat wife perform instead.

  3. Excellent news! This will at least have them not contributing to the harsh treatment of this endangered species. By the way, if you love elephants you should check out this facebook post. They have some amazing elephant pillows they’re giving away for FREE, just pay shipping and handling. Go here: http://goo.gl/cCkR2H

    1. Jesse Peterson says:

      Are they made from elephant hides?

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