Updated April 25, 2019​ 

Sri Lanka Express

New York bans circus elephants 

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed into law a bill prohibiting the use of elephants in circuses, just months after New York City outlawed the use of wild animals in circus acts.

Under the Elephant Protection Act (S2098B/A464B) signed October 19, no person or entity can use elephants in entertainment acts, which include circuses, carnivals, parades or trade shows.

"The use of elephants in these types of settings is dangerous to their health and potentially abusive," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. "The Elephant Protection Act furthers this administration's efforts to fight animal cruelty, and create a stronger, more humane New York." 

The legislation aims to prevent performance tricks that are never executed by elephants in the wild and that are stressful or harmful to the animal. Elephants used for entertainment purposes 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. A civil penalty of up to $1,000 can be assessed per act that violates the law.

Senator Terrence Murphy said, "Thanks to the advocacy of the students, staff and faculty of the Pace University Environmental Clinic, New York State has now passed significant legislation that will protect elephants from cruel and inhumane treatment.  Once again, New York State is proving to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves."

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin said, "Elephants have been exploited and abused in entertainment acts for too long. Confinement, torture and unhealthy living conditions have led to early death for these intelligent, gentle animals. Today, New York has become the leader in ending this horrible practice. Elephants will no longer be subjected to cruel treatment for our amusement."
Los Angeles was the first major city to outlaw the use of elephants and other wild animals in circuses in 2017 and some of the nation’s biggest cities have said they want nothing to do with animal-based circuses.

In May of this year, Ringling Bros (“The Greatest Show on Earth”) closed down its operations entirely, a year after it announced it would stop using elephants in its circus performances.