Portland Looking To Become First City In Maine To Ban Wild Animal Performances
Earlier this year, Barnum and Bailey, perhaps the most famous traveling circus in the world, pulled the plug on their more-than-century-old venture. Times have become tough for traveling carnivals and if one city councilor from Portland gets their way, the largest city in Maine will only add to their plight.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Portland would like to become Maine's first city to ban wild animal performances, including circuses, from performing within city limits. Brian Batson was the councilor to propose the new ordinance, with other city councilors agreeing that wild animal shows seem outdated and cruel.
This ordinance wouldn't be groundbreaking nationwide however. Twenty three states already have towns and cities with similar bands or ordinances that preclude wild animal shows to be performed. For the past several years, protests at performances in Portland and Lewiston during wild animal events have gotten louder. Conversely, attendance for those performances have plummeted.
The ordinance will ban live performances from elephants, tigers, bears, monkeys, and many more animals in Portland. Batson believes that Portlanders have an internal conscience for animals, posing the question, "we need to ask ourselves, is this the kind of city we want to be, the kind that supports acts like this?"