California to Become Third State to Ban Wild Animal Circuses

This week, legislation that bans wild animal circuses across California passed the state Senate and Assembly and is headed for signature to Governor Gavin Newsom’s office. The bill (SB 313) was authored by Senator Ben Hueso, sponsored by animal-rights groups People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), and supported by Animal Defenders International (ADI). “Animals aren’t photo props, they don’t belong on a carnival midway, and they’re not willing participants in circuses, so PETA looks forward to seeing Sen. Ben Hueso’s bill become law and the days of dragging beleaguered camels and caged tigers across California come to an end,” Rachel Mathews, PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement, said. SCIL Founder and President Judie Mancuso echoed Mathews’ sentiment, stating, “Once again, we received huge support for vital legislation that will save animals from torture and death. Public demand for cruelty-free circuses is growing nationwide, and today, California moved one step closer to completely banning the inhumane use of animals in circuses.”

“We are thrilled that California continues to take the lead on animal protection issues,” ADI President Jan Creamer said. “ADI has spent years documenting the inherent suffering of wild animals in circuses and we are delighted to see our efforts come to fruition. We urge more states to follow suit.” Once SB 313 is officially signed into law, California will become the third state—behind Hawaii and New Jersey—to ban wild animal circuses.

In recent months, California has passed several laws that protect animals from harm, including The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019 (AB 273) which bans fur trapping across the state signed into law by Newsom last week. Yesterday, a bill that bans the sale and manufacture of new fur statewide moved on for finalization in the California Assembly before it moves on to Newsom for signature.