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Illinois Bans Travelling Elephant Acts

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Photo: Flickr/Laura LaRose
Photo: Flickr/Laura LaRose

Illinois has made a revolutionary decision to become the first state to ban travelling elephant acts, including circuses.

The law was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner, and “amends the Illinois Criminal Code to ban any mobile or nonpermanent exhibitions of Asian or African elephants,” PETA writes. In addition, the legislation also bans horrible elephant rides.

“African and Asian elephants are endangered species,” State Senator Linda Holmes, who sponsored this measure, said. “Travelling circuses are not able to properly care for elephants and as a result, elephant exhibitions in Illinois have been found to be in violation of the Federal Animal Welfare Act several times. Allowing these inhumane practices to continue would be irresponsible and poor stewardship of such impressive animals.”

The decision was strongly supported by The Humane Society, and Illinois joins the many other cities who have banned travelling elephant acts due to public disapproval and pressure.

If someone gets caught breaking this law, they have committed a Class A misdemeanour and could be put in jail.

“For too long, elephants used in circuses have endured cruel training, constant confinement, and deprivation of all that is natural to them,” said Marc Ayers, state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “The public has come to see that these animals are victims, not willing performers. Illinois has taken a monumental step in ending this outdated form of entertainment and we urge other cities and states to follow suit.”

Senate Bill 1342 was signed last week and will be taken into effect as of January 1, 2018.

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