SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Circuses in California would no longer be allowed to include wild animals under a bill state legislators sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday.

Should Newsom sign Senate Bill 313, circuses in the state will no longer be allowed to use bears, tigers, elephants, monkeys or other wild animals in their acts. Democratic state Sen. Ben Hueso of San Diego said circus animals are often chained and confined to trailers or cramped cages and physically punished with whips and muzzles if they don’t perform.

“Bears, tigers, elephants and other wild animals exploited in traveling acts don’t ride bicycles, jump through hoops or balance on pedestals because they want to,” Hueso said in a statement. “They perform these and other difficult tricks because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t.”

Domesticated dogs, cats and horses would still be allowed in circuses, and rodeos aren’t affected by the legislation. If Newsom approves the bill, California will become the third state to have banned wild animals in circuses, following Hawaii and New Jersey, which passed their own bills this year, according to Social Compassion in Legislation, the organization that’s the principal supporter of the bill.

State senators approved the bill on a 35-0 vote Wednesday without debate. Opponents of the measure argued that circus animals are well cared for and that the measure would keep millions of Californians from experiencing traveling circuses.


©2019 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


PHOTO (for help with images, contact 312-222-4194): CALIF-CIRCUS-ANIMALS

Copyright 2019 Tribune Content Agency.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.