San Francisco may have seen its last lion tamer. The city and county’s board of supervisors on Tuesday voted to end all performances by “wild or exotic” animals, going further than other US cities by banning displays in all settings, from the circus to movies and television.
Though the board of supervisors approved the new rule, it was unclear if it would pass into law. Mayor Edwin Lee, who must approve the ordinance, did not immediately indicate if he would do so. The mayor’s press office told the Guardian: “Mayor Lee is reviewing the proposed legislation.”
If it did become law, the ordinance would ban people from forcing “wild or exotic animal[s]” to perform “on any public or private property within the city and county of San Francisco”. Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and $1,000 fine for each animal. Educational displays would be exempted.
The new law is part of an apparent shift in public opinion on whether animals should ever be held in captivity and forced to perform.