HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

716

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO WILD ANIMALS.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that in December 2018, Governor David Ige approved an administrative rule that prohibits the importation of dangerous wild animals for exhibition in circuses or carnivals in Hawaii. That same month, New Jersey became the first state to pass a law that bans the use of wild animals in circuses. These historic measures recognize both the animal welfare concerns and public safety concerns of circuses that force endangered and threatened animals such as elephants, tigers, lions, and bears to perform.

The New Jersey law is known as "Nosey's Law," and was named after an abused African elephant with crippling arthritis that was forced to travel around the country to perform in circuses. Illinois and New York had already banned the use of elephants in traveling or entertainment acts, but Nosey's Law bans the use of all wild and exotic animals in circus acts.

The legislature also finds that the people of Hawaii will never forget the tragedy that occurred in 1994 when Tyke the elephant fatally crushed her trainer during a live performance at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena. Tyke then rampaged through the streets of Honolulu for nearly thirty minutes until police officers were finally able to stop her by shooting her eighty-seven times.

The legislature further finds that wild animals used in traveling shows are subjected to prolonged periods of extreme confinement in dark and poorly ventilated enclosures. These animals are routinely deprived of adequate exercise and veterinary care. This practice is especially inhumane for wild animals that are transported thousands of miles across the ocean to Hawaii.

The purpose of this Act is to prohibit the importation of dangerous wild animals for exhibition in a circus, carnival, or other live animal act or performance.

SECTION 2. Chapter 150A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part II to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"150A- Dangerous wild animal exhibition; prohibited. (a) No person shall import to Hawaii a dangerous wild animal for exhibition in a circus, carnival, or other live animal act or performance.

(b) A person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $25,000. Each animal imported in violation of this section constitutes a separate violation.

(c) As used in this section:

"Dangerous wild animal" means a non-domestic animal that has been determined to be capable of causing significant risk to animal or public health and safety in the absence of adequate containment measures and safeguards. The following animals shall be considered dangerous wild animals: lion (panthera leo), tiger (panthera tigris), cheetah (acinonyx jubatus), jaguar (panthera onca), cougar (felis concolor), leopard (panthera pardus), clouded leopard (panthera nebulosa), caracal (felis caracal and lynx caracal), ocelot (felis pardalis), margay (felis wiedii), serval (felis serval), bear (all species in the ursidae family), wolf (canis lupus and canis rufus), hyena (crocuta crocuta), aardwolf (proteles cristatus), elephant (all species in the elephantidae family), rhinoceros (all species in the rhinocerotidae family), hippopotamus (all species in the hippopotamidae family), non-human primate (all species in the primates order), crocodile (all species in the crocodylus genus), alligator (alligator mississippiensis), caiman (caiman crocodilus), and gharial or gavial (gavialis gangeticus).

"Performance" means 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."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Dangerous Wild Animals; Circuses; Importation; Prohibitions

 

Description:

Prohibits the importation of dangerous wild animals for exhibition in a circus, carnival, or other live animal act or performance.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.