NEW YORK — If some New York City officials and animal advocates prevail, there’ll be no more tigers, lions, leopards, monkeys, zebras or even sloths whenever “The Greatest Show on Earth” comes to town.

Two City Council members are sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal for Ringling Bros. and other circuses to perform in the city unless they abandon acts featuring “wild or exotic animals for public entertainment or amusement.” Animal advocates say the use of such animals in circus performances amounts to cruelty.

Stephen Payne, a spokesman for Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros, said the proposal “does nothing to advance animal welfare and would deny circus fans the opportunity to see the amazing bond that exists between our human and animal performers.”

He said the circus adheres to strict animal welfare regulations, backed by inspections.

A council committee will hold the first hearing on the proposed ban Oct. 20.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.