On September 14, 2016 a measure intended to ban circuses from Jersey City was adopted by the City Council to a round of applause from a group of animal lovers NJ.Com reported.
The city law, which was adopted by a 7-1-1 vote, prohibits performances of certain exotic animals. Mayor Steve Fulop said he proposed the new law after a circus recently visited Bayonne.
The law appears to be the first in New Jersey that bans circuses on private property. Bergen County forbids wild and exotic animal shows on county land.
Three residents spoke in favor of the ban and one against. Romeo Andulan quoted Mahatma Gandhi when he urged the council to approve the measure. “These animals were taken from their natural habitat, usually from distant lands in Africa,” Andulan said. “This type of entertainment should not be in the 21st Century.”
The Humane Society of the United States alleges circuses lead to prolonged confinement for animals and that they are often abused. A spokesman for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s circus called the bill “political grandstanding” and denied that animals are mistreated.
The measure was amended to offer more specifics on the animals whose performances would be banned; it also includes an exemption for educational institutions.