By Kevin Czerwinski, Office of New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin
Jul. 5, 2017: Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) is pleased to announce that A.464B/S.2098B, legislation she authored, was passed by the New York State Assembly and will now be sent to Governor Cuomo to be signed into law.
The bill, which is known as The Elephant Protection Act, would ensure that no person, group, or entertainment company shall use elephants in any type of entertainment act. It safeguards all elephants from the physical and psychological harm inflicted upon them by living conditions, treatment, and cruel methods that are necessary to train them to perform in entertainment acts such as circuses.
"Performance elephants have been exploited and abused for too long," Paulin said. "We can no longer ignore the cruelty that they have endured for our amusement. Confinement, torture, and unhealthy living conditions have led to early death for these intelligent, gentle animals."
The idea for the bill, which was passed by the New York State Senate on May 23, originated with students from Pace University’s Environmental Policy Clinic.
"A performing elephant is a tortured elephant," said Michelle Land, Pace clinical professor of environmental law and policy. "Given the global controversy about elephants in the wild, New York State has a duty to end these practices that foster false values and misinformation about the species. We believe New York’s leadership will embolden other states to prohibit performing elephants, and put an end to this barbaric relic of a bygone era."
Terrence Murphy (R-40) sponsored the bill in the Senate.
"It is a fact that elephants used for entertainment purposes suffer irreparable physical and psychological harm that shortens their lifespans," Murphy said. "They spend a significant portion of their lives crammed inside trucks, trains, or trailers, and then they are poked, prodded, or shocked into performing tricks. Thankfully, we have come to our senses as a society and we no longer tolerate the abuse of performing elephants. We have taken a bold step as the first state to pass legislation outlawing elephants having to suffer for our amusement. Let us hope it starts a national and international trend."
"Elephants are a treasured species, and there is growing popular support for their protection," said Brian Shapiro, New York State director for The Humane Society of the United States. "We applaud Senator Murphy and Assemblymember Paulin for their leadership, and respectfully urge Governor Cuomo to sign this historic bill into law."
Pictured here: Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.
Photo courtesy Office of Amy Paulin