Suffolk County enacts law restricting traveling exotic animal performances

Thanks to the bipartisan efforts of Legislators Trish Bergin and Jason Richberg, Suffolk County has adopted IR 1777, a local law to restrict the use of exotic animals in traveling performances. This important bill not only protects the welfare of animals and the safety of our children, but also teaches empathy to future generations and supports humane, cruelty-free performers who can go home at the end of their day and retire when they wish. 

Effective immediately, the following animals are banned from traveling performances in the county: 

A. Artiodactyla (hippopotamuses and giraffes);
B. Canidae (wolves, foxes and jackals) but not domesticated dogs;
C. Crocodilia (alligators and crocodiles);
D. Elephantidae (elephants);
E. Endentates (anteaters, sloths and armadillos);
F. Felidae (tigers, lions, jaguars and leopards), but not domesticated cats;
G. Hyaenidae (hyenas);
H. Marsupialia (kangaroos and opossums);
I. Musteloidea (skunks, weasels, otters, racoons and badgers);
J. Non-human primates (apes, monkeys and lemurs);
K. Perissodactyla (rhinoceroses, tapirs and zebras);
L. Pinnipedia (seals, sea lions and walruses);
M. Struthio (ostriches);
N. Ursidae (bears).

This law has been enacted following Suffolk County venues hosting a man who strapped toothless monkeys to the backs of dogs, an exhibitor who is on video beating and electroshocking elephants, and a man who lost a bear for nearly a week in a Florida suburb and was himself mauled at an upstate fair. Most recently, Suffolk County exhibitor Larry Wallach announced his plans to increase home visits after he was convicted of civil contempt of court and ordered to close his illegal Sloth Encounters business. Now, he will no longer be able to exploit these animals as planned. 

Humane Long Island urges the public to contact [email protected] with evidence if they observe any violations of this new law.

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