October 31, 2018

5:22 pm

NJ Primed to Protect Elephants with Nosey’s Law

Nosey the elephant has near-crippling arthritis. But that did not stop her handler from cruelly traveling the country with Nosey constantly, forcing the lame animal to give rides to customers at carnivals and fairs.

Nosey was clearly distressed by her circumstances — the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited the handler nearly 200 times for animal-welfare violations. And yet the show, sadly, went on.

The federal government intervened and seized Nosey, whom they “found tightly chained, confined in her own waste, and without proper shelter.” Nosey is currently housed at an animal sanctuary while a court decides her next steps. But while that case awaits a decision, New Jersey lawmakers have taken action.

The New Jersey legislature just this week approved a bill known as “Nosey’s Law,” which “prohibits use of elephants and other wild or exotic animals in traveling animal acts.”

The bill, sponsored by assemblymen Raj Mukherji, Andrew Zwicker, and Jamel Holley, will, if approved, make New Jersey the first state to ban traveling circuses. The language of the bill defines “performance” as “any animal act, carnival, circus, display, exhibition, exposition, fair, parade, petting zoo, presentation, public showing, race, ride, trade show, or similar undertaking in which animals perform tricks, give rides, or participate as accompaniments for the entertainment, amusement, or benefit of a live audience.” And “traveling animal act” would be defined as “any performance which requires an animal to be transported to or from the location of the performance in a mobile or traveling housing facility.”

The bill, which was passed by an overwhelming 71-3 vote, is the second such bill passed by the state’s assembly. A similar law was passed in 2017, but was not signed into law by then-Governor Chris Christie. The new law, named in honor of Nosey, is expected to be signed by new New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

“These are wild, endangered animals, and they should be cared for according to the highest ethical standards to ensure the survival of their species,” Assemblyman Mukherji told Insider NJ. “We cannot allow ill-equipped handlers of traveling animal acts to mistreat and exploit endangered species.”

“The conditions some of these animals are forced to endure is deplorable, not fit for any animal,” said Assemblyman Holley. “Many of the elephants, large cats and others are among our most endangered species, with only a few remaining. We should be protecting and preserving future generations instead of exploiting them.”