Council approves ban on exotic, wild animals in circuses

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The measure was passed by a vote of 6 to 4 during the meeting on Monday, December 13th.

CHARLOTTE, NC – The push to ban exotic or wild animals from circuses in Charlotte has won approval from leaders.

The city council met on Monday, December 13, and passed a motion, 6-4, that would ban these types of animals from doing business.

On Monday’s agenda, two amendments to the original animal law were introduced, but the ban was not included.

After public comments and speakers shared their views, City Councilor Matt Newton put forward a motion to ban.

An alternative proposal was then made to Amendment A to the Animal Law, which failed 6-4. Then Newton’s proposal was returned to Earth and passed.

RELATED: City Council delayers vote on ordinance banning hooks, and other devices used in circus animals

Below is what is considered an exotic or wild animal in Charlotte, according to the city Decrees Law:

An exotic or wild animal means an animal that is usually confined to a zoo; one that can usually be found in the wilds of this or any other country; a type of animal that is not native to the United States or North America; or any person who would otherwise likely cause a reasonable person to fear serious damage to property or bodily harm, the latter including, but not limited to, monkeys, raccoons, squirrels, ocelots, bobcats, wolves, hybrid wolves, poisonous reptiles, and other similar animals. These animals are also defined as those non-venomous mammals or reptiles that weigh more than 50 pounds at maturity, which are known in law as the Ferae nature. Exotic or wild animals specifically do not include animals of a species normally used in the state as regular house pets, animals of a species typically used in the state as house farm animals, or fish confined to an aquarium other than piranhas, birds, or insects.

According to emails obtained by WCNC Charlotte, the ban will not apply to dogs, cats, or even horses since none of the animals are considered exotic or wild under city law. Language in the emails says the ban will include circuses.

Here is the language of what the ban would mean. The following information was provided in the emails:

second. 3-73. Exotic or wild animals.

Illegal act. No person shall keep, keep, possess or have under the control within the City any poisonous reptile or any wild or exotic animal.

exceptions. This section does not apply to lawfully operated and operated pet stores, zoos, scientific research laboratories, circusand veterinarians who harbor such animals for the purposes of providing professional medical treatment, wildlife rehabilitation with appropriate permits, or USDA-licensed exhibitors who exhibit such animals for educational purposes, Provided that the animals are kept in a way that prevents escape.

unauthorized permits; The effects of annexation. Permits to keep or maintain wild or exotic animals are not permitted. People in newly annexed territories have 30 days from the date of annexation to comply with this section.

Compliance with state and federal regulations and safe confinement. Confinement of exotic or wild animals excluded from subsection (a) of this section under subsection (b) of this section must meet regulations issued by the State Wildlife Commission, the minimum standards under the Animal Welfare Act and all applicable rules issued by the Department of Agriculture in United State. In addition to meeting these minimum standards, all such poisonous reptiles and all such wild or exotic animals must be restrained, restrained, or controlled in such a way that the physical safety or property of anyone lawfully entering the building is not endangered.

Attendance on public road rights. Animals described in subsection (a) of this section but are excluded under subsection (b) of this section are not permitted on any public street, sidewalk, or other public road, except in a fully enclosed cage or appropriate structural restraints. Use of a leash with or without a muzzle shall not be considered an appropriate restriction. Animals that are part of a featured performance in a special event with a city festival or show permit where the animal handler is licensed by the USDA are excluded from this subsection.

RELATED: Charlotte leaders to discuss exotic animal laws

according to Four paws in the United States, Charlotte now joins the cities of Asheville, Chapel Hill and Orange County who have taken precautions or are taking precautions for exotic or wild animals in the circus.

WCNC Charlotte has reached out to the city to find out when the ban will go into effect.

You can watch the full Charlotte City Council meeting below.

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