Eastern PA city bans wild-animal acts

Read the original article by Patrick Varine at triblive.com here.

Following in the footsteps of two Allegheny County communities, Whitemarsh Township officials in eastern Pennsylvania voted to ban wild and exotic animal circus acts last week.

The move comes after similar bans enacted in both Pittsburgh and Sharpsburg, and will affect the town of Plymouth Meeting in Whitemarsh, where the LuLu Circus is held annually.

Members of Animal Defenders International supplied information to the township board in support of the ban.

“We are thrilled that Whitemarsh Township has chosen to move with the times and ban the use of wild animals in circuses,” said ADI President Jan Creamer in a statement. “We hope other cities will follow its lead to protect animals and the public across the United States.”

More than 90 local governments in 32 states have taken action to restrict the use of wild animals in traveling circuses, according to ADI.

In Pennsylvania, House Bill 996 has more than 34 co-sponsors, and proposes banning wild animal circus acts throughout the state. It would prevent the transport of elephants, big cats, bears, primates, kangaroos, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, zebras, tapirs, seals, sea lions and sharks for public performances.

The bill would not restrict zoos from exhibiting animals at their facility, nor would it prevent nonprofits, educators, or wildlife rehabilitators from traveling for educational programs featuring birds, lizards, or other exempt species.

The bill is currently sitting in the House’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

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