Local news from the States

Santa Fe City Councilor proposes banning circuses

Santa Fe City Councilor Signe Lindell introduced a proposed ordinance that would prohibit circuses and other traveling animal acts in Santa Fe; rodeos would be exempt. Lindell said her measure targeting animal acts would fail if rodeos were included.

Debby Everett district leader with HSUS in Santa Fe working with Lindell on the ordinance said the focus is on circuses. “No animal wants to jump through a ring of fire unless they’re afraid not to.”

The proposal would prohibit any traveling animal show, petting zoo, circus, animal act or exhibit that includes any wild or exotic animal unless for exclusively public educational purposes.

Lindell said the proposal is also about public safety. “There have been cases where these animals have escaped, and it’s been very problematic—traveling animal acts offer little or no economic benefit for the city.”

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Potentially dangerous wild animals will not be in attendance at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo

Dangerous wild animals, including tigers, lions, bears and cougars, can no longer be displayed in Denton after the police department’s Animal Services Division created a written policy earlier this year that outlines more stringent requirements for issuing wild animal permits.

Deputy Chief Lenn Carter said the new policy, outlined in an informal staff report to the Denton City Council, is more in line with the state law.

The city’s animal services director, Paul O’Neill, said the new requirements all but ensure that potentially dangerous wild animals will not be displayed in the city. The policy says the animals must receive a microchip with an identification number, an inspection from a local veterinarian, proof that the exhibitor received the inspection and minimum liability insurance of $4 million.

Among other requirements, the policy also prohibits “an exhibition featuring any animal that is on the Texas Department of State Health Services Dangerous Wild Animal List.” The list identifies 19 dangerous wild animals, including lions, tigers, bears, cheetahs, jaguars, bobcats and coyotes.

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