The New Jersey Journal (NJ.com) reports circuses may no longer be welcome in Jersey City. During next week’s city council meeting it is expected the council will take action on a bill that will ban performances of wild and exotic animals.
If formally adopted, Jersey City will become one of a host of public entities nationwide that passed laws aimed at circuses. Bergen County now forbids wild and exotic animal shows on county property. Last month, Rhode Island became the first state in the nation to ban the use of a tool used by circuses to train elephants.
The proposed law appears to be the first in New Jersey that would restrict the use of wild and exotic animals on private property. City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said, “the circus visiting Bayonne prompted the new legislation to prohibit cruel treatment of animals.”
“We are following Bergen County and in order to expand forward, the first and important step is setting an example in our home city,” Morrill added.
The new law will not be limited to circuses; the law also includes trade shows, petting zoos, carnivals, parades and more in which animals are required to perform tricks, fight or give rides.
Stephen Payne, spokesman for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s circus, described the bill as “political grandstanding” on Fulop’s part. Payne said he’s not aware of any circuses visiting Jersey City.