Circuses banned from using elephants in New York

Samuel Osborne
A performer rides an elephant during a live performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City: Scott Wintrow/Getty Images

New York has banned the use of elephants in entertainment acts such as circuses and parades.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Elephant Protection Act into law after it was passed by the state legislature in June.

Animal rights campaigners argue elephants used in performances are subjected to cruel treatment at the hands of circus trainers.

"Elephants will no longer be subjected to this cruel abuse," Mr Cuomo said in a tweet.

“The use of elephants in these types of settings is dangerous to their health and potentially abusive,” he added in a statement.

“The Elephant Protection Act furthers this administration’s efforts to fight animal cruelty, and create a stronger, more humane New York.”

The law, which comes into effect in 2019, comes with a legal penalty of up to $1,000 (£758) per violation.

“Confinement, torture and unhealthy living conditions have led to early death for these intelligent, gentle animals,” Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who sponsored the bill, said.

“Elephants will no longer be subjected to cruel treatment for our amusement."

The ban follows Mayor Bill de Blasio signing a similar measure preventing circuses from using animal acts in New York City.