LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban the use of wild and exotic animals for entertainment purposes. The ordinance, which began as a motion in 2016, makes it illegal to bring wild animals to parties or use them in a situation that requires them to perform tricks.
“The issue of wild, exotic, and even dangerous animals being used for entertainment came to our doorstep four years ago, when a baby giraffe and elephant were being marched up the Hollywood Hills for a house party,” said Councilmember David Ryu, who led the motion. “It is time that the city of Los Angeles makes absolutely clear that this abuse of wild animals is shameful, and we will not stand for it.”
Wild animals have been banned from circuses in California since last year. The new city law extends that ban to house parties and private entertainment, and includes a ban on any exhibition in which “a wild or exotic animal or dangerous animal is required to perform tricks, give rides, or participate as accompaniment for the entertainment, amusement, or benefit of a live audience, whether or not a fee is charged.”
Animals banned under the ordinance include lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, mountain lions, cheetahs, wolves, bears, hyenas, elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, moose, bison, giraffes, and certain nonhuman primates such as a gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, baboons, macaques, as well as non-venomous reptiles over eight feet in length, and all venomous reptiles.
The ban excludes typically domesticated animals, such as horses.
Wildlife conservationists who obtain applicable permits and the Los Angeles Zoo will be exempt from the ban because they exhibit animals for educational purposes and do not require them to perform tricks.
Exotic animals including elephants, giraffes, and lions have been brought to lavish house parties in the Hollywood Hills for years, according to the councilman.
“This is beyond unacceptable, and we must end it,” Ryu said. “It is time that the city of Los Angeles takes action to make clear that treating animals in this way is not in line with our city’s values.”
The new law now heads to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s desk for his signature.
Read the ordinance here.