If you are the purveyor of an inhumane circus act, you’d better look elsewhere for governor than the 2017 candidacy of state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth).
By a vote of 3-2, the Senate Economic Growth Committee today approved legislation sponsored by the veteran Union County lawmaker that would help prevent the abusive treatment of circus animals – specifically African elephant at fairs and circuses in New Jersey.
This bill, S-2508, known as “Nosey’s Law,” would prohibit the use of elephants in traveling animal acts, which are defined as any performance that requires an animal to be transported to or from the location of the performance in a mobile or traveling housing facility. Nosey is an elephant who is virtually crippled by arthritis, and who is forced to travel the country to give rides at fairs, flea markets, and other events. The arthritis has likely caused Nosey unnecessary suffering and permanent disability, and reports indicate that Nosey has been denied necessary veterinary care.
“This elephant is forced to give rides to the public while exhibiting symptoms of arthritis and degenerative joint disease,” said Lesniak, who’s hoping New Jersey voters toss him a sack of peanuts in the form of support for his progressives only need apply gubernatorial trunk test. “Using an injured elephant to give rides to the public is not only inhumane, it is extremely dangerous. If the animal should stumble or collapse due to her fragile condition, children sitting on her back could be crushed.”
The senator hopes he can amass a sufficient number of liberal causes, including a demonstrable concern for animal rights, to make him a viable 2017 option.
The Liebel Family Circus, Nosey’s owners, have been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for nearly 200 violations of the Animal Cruelty Act, including chaining Nosy so tightly she couldn’t move and denying her needed veterinary care. It has also been alleged that Nosey has been tortured with electric shock, bull hooks, sledgehammers, shovels and starvation.
To evade accountability, the Liebel Circus has taken to operating as “Circus Hollywood” and has even changed Nosey’s name to “Tiny,” the senator noted.
“Our state’s exotic animal regulations are intended to prevent exactly this kind of abuse and the federal Animal Welfare Act was amended to include animals used in exhibition to prevent this sort of mistreatment,” said Lesniak, a long shot for guv. “The pain and suffering inflicted on this or any animal should be ended. Nosey deserves to spend her remaining years in peace and in the company of other elephants.”
Any person who violates this bill would be subject to the penalties provided in the “The Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act” (the Act). This would include civil administrative penalties, civil penalties, and injunctive relief, but not the criminal penalties set forth in the Act.