Hawaii is set to become the first U.S. state to ban wild performing animals, according to Leap Daily. The move will ban the use of bears, elephants, tigers, primates, rhinos, hippos, hyenas, crocodiles and big cats used for entertainment purposes.
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture board unanimously approved a proposed rule change Tuesday to define "dangerous wild animals" and prohibit the import of them "for exhibition or performance in public entertainment shows such as circuses, carnivals and state fairs," according to The Huffington Post. The exception would be animals used for commercial filming in television or movies.
"We're hoping of course that Hawaii will set an example for other states to take the next step," said Inga Gibson, Hawaii senior state director for the Humane Society, calling the ban a long time coming. Gibson expects the new law to be in effect by early 2016.
The Humane Society of the United States, along with several other organizations, petitioned the state agriculture department in October 2014 to add dangerous wild animals to their list of prohibited species, paving the way for the ban.
As expected, fair and circus advocates are unhappy, True Activist noted. The Circus Fans Association calls proponents of the new ban "animal rights extremists" who make "false statements about circus animal mistreatment."