New Jersey makes U.S. history by banning wild animal circus acts

Written by on December 18, 2018 in Critter Crimes, Critter Love - No comments

New Jersey has become the first state in the U.S. to outlaw circuses featuring exotic animals such as elephants and tigers.

Governor Phil Murphy signed the bill Friday banning the traveling animal acts. The new rules, dubbed “Nosey’s Law,” have been named after a 36-year-old African elephant which became a symbol of the fights to prevent the use of animals in exploitative entertainment.

“I am proud to sign ‘Nosey’s Law’ and ensure that New Jersey will not allow wild and exotic animals to be exploited and cruelly treated within our state,” Murphy said in a statement.

He credited Senator Ray Lesniak’s years of work as an advocate for animal rights.

“These animals belong in their natural habitats or in wildlife sanctuaries, not in performances where their safety and the safety of others is at risk,” Murphy added.

Nosey was subject to years of maltreatment and became the central figure of a court battle between the roadshow that owned her and animal welfare advocates who wanted her placed in a sanctuary.

Nosey now resides at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

Nosey’s Law passed with only three members from either chamber voting in opposition.

“These beautiful creatures suffer from routine abuse and mistreatment by their handlers for the sake of entertainment,” Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement. “…New Jersey is taking a stand for animal rights and I hope that other states will follow our example so that this sort of abuse can be eliminated everywhere in the country.”

The bill was also supported by animal welfare groups, such as the U.S. Humane Society and PETA.


The regulations mean elephants and other exotic animals cannot be used in roadshows, parades, petting zoos and other animal acts.

It will mean elephant rides and animal tricks will be banned in New Jersey.

This was once Nosey’s life. Photo: PETA

Life is much better for Nosey, now.


Main Photo The Elephant Sanctuary/Twitter

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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