Big Victories for Elephants and Big Cats in New York State
An Animal Rights Article from


Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
August 2014

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law two important bills actively supported by PAWS. We commend New York legislators for taking a stand for elephants, rhinos, and captive big cats!

Ban on elephant ivory and rhino horn

This new law bans the sale of elephant and mammoth ivory and rhinoceros horns, with limited exceptions for products such as antiques demonstrated to be at least 100 years old and containing only a small amount of ivory. The bill targets the illegal ivory trade by strengthening criminal and civil penalties for those who buy and sell ivory. In a press release the governor called the adoption of these stricter sanctions "a major step to deter the ivory trade in the U.S. and protect important species." New York is known to be a gateway for the illegal wildlife trade in the U.S., which is the second-largest importer of illegal ivory behind China.

Ban on public contact with captive big cats

With the passage of this new law, fairs, circuses and other exhibitors can no longer allow their customers to come into direct contact with lions, tigers and other big cats through photo and petting sessions. Dubious operations that provide tiger and lion cubs for interactive sessions put the public and the animals at risk. They require a constant influx of cubs to make a profit, creating a cycle of misery as older, unwanted cubs are discarded and sent from one substandard facility to another, only to be replaced by more cubs. Kudos to Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, who authored the new law and has written dozens of animal protection bills.

PAWS is a proven leader in protecting performing wild animals and has long championed the conservation of animals in the wild ... but we could not do it without your support. Please donate.

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