BREAKING: Elephants Will Never Have To Perform In New York Ever Again

This is the best news.

Circus elephants are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, thanks to a new ban just signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

An elephant performs a headstand during Ringling Bros.' final elephant show in May 2016. | Facebook/Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

“The use of elephants in these types of settings is dangerous to their health and potentially abusive,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement after signing the Elephant Protection Act into law this week. “The Elephant Protection Act furthers this administration’s efforts to fight animal cruelty, and create a stronger, more humane New York.”

The ban, which will come into full effect in two years, bans elephants from being forced to perform in not just circuses, but also any kind of parade, carnival or trade show. This comes just a few months after the New York City Council banned using any kind of exotic animal in circus shows within the city limits. And earlier this year, the long-running Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus put on its last show ever.

baby elephant trained for the circus
Baby elephant being trained for the circus | PETA
Circus elephant

The law is finally reflecting what people have learned about the impact of circus training and captivity on intelligent animals like elephants, who form tight family bonds and have complex emotional lives.

Circus elephant and performer

Governor Cuomo's statement explains that elephants used for entertainment "often suffer physical and psychological harm due to the living conditions and treatment to which they are subjected, resulting in increased mortality with life spans only one-half as long as wild elephants."

"The extraordinary movement on this issue is a marker of the larger progress," Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), wrote. "People understand that wild animals should not be transported from city to city for silly stunts, and they should not be subjected to often harsh and inhumane training techniques ... The set of gains we’ve seen has been long overdue, but the outcomes are worth celebrating."

To celebrate this fantastic news, you can give a gift to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), which gives sanctuary to elephants and other animals saved from performing in shows.