Action Alert – Los Angeles Proposed ban on Exhibition of Wild & Exotic Animals

Press coverage:


As many of you know, in 2013 the Los Angeles City Council voted to prohibit the use of elephant guides (bullhooks), which effectively prohibited any future elephant performances or elephant exhibitors in the city.  Now City Councilmember David Ryu (4th District) has asked the City Attorney to draft a new ordinance to “prohibit the exhibition of wild or exotic animals for entertainment or amusement, including circuses, other wild or exotic animal shows, and rentals for house parties, with exception for accredited zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, legitimate filming purposes, research facilities, and legitimate conservation-related programs or presentations.” 

The full text of the motion is attached for your reference.  The press release from Councilmember Ryu’s office is available online at Once an ordinance is drafted, it will have to go through committee, and we believe that might happen early in 2017.

Please take a moment to contact the members of the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti with a short e-mail to say you OPPOSE any measure that would ban performing animals in Los Angeles.  Encourage your friends and family to send e-mails as well, especially those that live in the Los Angeles area.

Sample talking points for your communications are listed below, but please use your own words and your own experiences as a circus animal supporter to politely express your opposition to a performing animal ban.  Be sure the subject line of your e-mails indicates you are OPPOSED to banning wild or exotic animals in entertainment.  Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and we will share updates on the status of this ordinance as information becomes available.

Thank you!

Mary Lou

Los Angeles City Council:


Mayor Garcetti:

Main phone/City Hall information:  (213) 473-3231

City Council Website:

Sample talking points:

The following are suggestions for your correspondence, but please use your own words, and you do not need to include every bullet point.  Please keep all correspondence respectful.

• Tell the Council members that you are OPPOSED to any measure that would prevent circuses and other travelling exhibitors with exotic animals from visiting Los Angeles.

• All circuses are required to have a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) exhibitor’s license.  USDA conducts regular unannounced inspections of performing animals and their stable areas, and their inspection reports are a matter of public record.

• Circuses and other animal exhibitors are also subject to state and local animal cruelty laws and permit requirements in Los Angeles and the state of California.  Such regulations provide protection to all performing animals and allow for the prosecution of those who neglect or mistreat the animals in their care.

• Millions of American families support and enjoy traditional circuses with exotic animals, including many thousands who attend shows in Los Angeles.  It is wrong to deprive them of the right to choose to do so.

• Circuses and other traveling exhibitors with performing animals contribute to the local economies of the communities they perform in and support hundreds of jobs for local arena and other workers.

• If any animal is being mistreated in any environment, the right answer is to enforce existing laws and regulations to punish bad actors as opposed to punishing an entire industry and the public who enjoy circuses.

• Proponents of performing animal bans mischaracterize or misunderstand the facts about the training and handling of circus animals. Most of the organizations that advocate such bans do so as part of a larger, animal rights agenda which opposes all or most human interaction with animals.