L.A. Lawmakers Vote to Ban Use of Exotic, Wild Animals for Entertainment

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A young Bengal tiger cub smuggled into the U.S. and seized at the Mexico border is displayed for the media in Torrance on Oct. 20, 2017. (Credit: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)
A young Bengal tiger cub smuggled into the U.S. and seized at the Mexico border is displayed for the media in Torrance on Oct. 20, 2017. (Credit: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)

Concerned that elephants and other animals have been used as props at Hollywood parties, the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban the use of wild, exotic and dangerous animals for entertainment.

The council voted 14-0 to make it illegal to require such animals to perform tricks, give rides or be provided for “the entertainment, amusement, or benefit of a live audience, whether or not a fee is charged.”

The issue came up four years ago when “a baby giraffe and elephant were being marched up the Hollywood Hills for a house party,” said David Ryu, the councilman who sponsored the ordinance. He calls such uses barbaric.

The law covers a wide variety of animals, from lions, tigers, wolves and bears to gorillas, snakes over 8 feet long and all venomous snakes.

State law already banned the use of exotic and wild animals in circuses but the city law covers a broader range of entertainment.

Commonly domesticated animals such as horses aren’t covered.

The law does permit the exhbition of exotic animals by the Los Angeles Zoo and by conservationists and for filming if permits are obtained.

Mayor Eric Garcetti must now sign the measure.

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