Tigers Are Not Rugs
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Hollywood Bans Wild Animal Circus Acts
West Hollywood’s City Council unanimously passed its ban on commercial uses for exotic or wild animals during its Monday night meeting, but not without controversy from activists on both sides of the issue.
Sponsored by Councilmembers Jeffrey Prang and John Duran, the ordinance prohibits the use of wild animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, bears, monkeys and chimpanzees from any performance acts, including circuses, carnivals, parades or kids’ rides. It is seen as an extension of the city’s reputation as being animal compassionate.
Sixteen people, evenly divided pro and con, spoke on the matter during public comment. Several times, the two sides got into shouting matches with each other, prompting Mayor Abbe Land to bang the gavel to restore order.
Matt Bruce of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) applauded West Hollywood for joining other cities such as Pasadena, Santa Ana and Huntington Beach who have passed the ordinance.
“There’s no excuse for subjecting elephants, tigers and other such animals to use for showmanship,” Bruce said.
Matt Rossell of Animal Defenders International also praised the ordinance saying there is a lot of violence behind the scenes. Animals are beat so they will perform, he said.
“These animals don’t want to perform, they want to do animal things,” Rossell said. “They live in fear.”
Patty Shenker of the Performing Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) applauded the ban and spoke of a video showing employees of an elephant rental company, Have Trunk Will Travel, beating elephants into submission with an elephant bullhook.
Paul O’Sullivan, a spokesperson for Have Trunk Will Travel, called the ordinance “silly” and said the aforementioned video was propaganda that was highly edited.
Kari Johnson, the owner of Have Trunk Will Travel, said she was disappointed by the ordinance.
“I love that you love animals, but this is so not fair,” Johnson said. “What they’re telling you about us is not true.”
Meanwhile, West Los Angeles resident Alexis Keiser called the speakers supporting the ban a “cult of animal rights activists.”
Los Angeles resident Wini McKay spoke of how children benefit from seeing animals up close.
“Don’t let the radical activists deprive us,” McKay said.
Prang said even though the circus does not come to West Hollywood, he is happy to do what he can to help pass exotic animal bans city by city until it reaches the state level.
Councilmember John D’Amico praised the ban and reminded the audience that the city’s fur ban, which he sponsored, goes into effect on Sept. 21.
www.wehoville.com Tue, Sep 17 By James F. Mills
Protect Bobcats in CA
After thousands of phone calls, emails and faxes from activists and supporters such as yourself, Assembly Bill 1213 — a bill to address unlimited commercial trapping of bobcats in California — passed the California legislature earlier this month. Thank you.
Governor Jerry Brown’s signature is the last thing A.B. 1213 needs to become law. But we can’t just assume he’ll sign the bill — he needs to hear from Californians who support an end to bobcat trapping.Please take action now to contact Governor Brown today: Urge him to sign the Bobcat Protection Act, A.B. 1213.
Click here to take action and get more information.
If you can’t open the link, go to http://action.
biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/ action3/common/public/?action_ KEY=14297.
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