STATE OF NEW YORK
2017-2018 Regular Sessions
January 9, 2017
Introduced by M. of A. PAULIN, SEPULVEDA, LUPARDO, MOSLEY, OTIS, MAGEE,
WOERNER, LAWRENCE, ZEBROWSKI, DINOWITZ, ROSENTHAL, SKOUFIS, BARRETT,
BENEDETTO -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. ENGLEBRIGHT, GLICK, SKAR-
TADOS -- read once and referred to the Committee on Agriculture --
committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
recommitted to said committee -- reported and referred to the Commit-
tee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted
as amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law and the environmental
conservation law, in relation to prohibiting the use of elephants in
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
2 the "elephant protection act".
3 § 2. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds that:
4 a. elephant abuse is a matter of worldwide concern, and the state as a
5 recognized environmental leader should help assure the protection and
6 welfare of elephants;
7 b. it is widely recognized that elephants used for entertainment
8 purposes ("entertainment elephants") suffer physical and psychological
9 harm due to the living conditions and treatment to which they are
10 subjected, resulting in increased mortality with life spans only one-
11 half as long as wild elephants;
12 c. entertainment elephants are trained with cruel techniques that
13 involve the use of objects to control and punish, such as bullhooks,
14 electric shocks, metal bars, whips, chaining, and other forms of phys-
15 ical restriction and painful coercion;
16 d. entertainment elephants live in conditions that are in no way simi-
17 lar to their natural habitat, including an unnatural diet, restricted
18 movement, inappropriate housing and a hostile climate;
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 464--B 2
1 e. entertainment elephants are subjected to confinement and social
2 isolation, leading to physiological, behavioral and psychological
4 f. entertainment elephants transported into the state spend a signif-
5 icant portion of their lives inside trucks, trains or trailers, enduring
6 additional physical restrictions and social isolation;
7 g. the use of elephants in entertainment provides a false and inaccu-
8 rate educational experience for children and adults, often including
9 performance tricks that are never executed by elephants in the wild and
10 that are stressful or harmful to the animal; and
11 h. it is in the best interest of the state that the use of elephants
12 in entertainment be prohibited, and that the state use its authority to
13 aid in the protection and welfare of these animals.
14 § 3. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new
15 section 380 to read as follows:
16 § 380. Use of elephants in entertainment acts. 1. No person shall use
17 or cause to be used elephants in any type of entertainment act.
18 2. Any person that violates the provisions of this section, or any
19 rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, may be assessed, by the
20 commissioner, a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars for
21 each such violation.
22 3. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
23 (a) institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums;
25 (b) wildlife sanctuaries as defined in subdivision thirty-two of
26 section 11-0103 of the environmental conservation law.
27 4. As used in this section:
28 (a) "Elephant" means the three species of the family Elephantidae:
29 (i) Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis, also known as the Afri-
30 can elephant; and
31 (ii) Elephas maximus, also known as the Asian elephant or Indian
33 (b) "Entertainment act" means any exhibition, act, circus, trade show,
34 carnival, ride, parade, race, performance or similar undertaking which
35 is primarily undertaken for the entertainment or amusement of a live
37 (c) "Person" means an individual, partnership, limited liability
38 company, corporation, joint venture, association, trust, estate or any
39 other legal entity, and any officer, member, shareholder, director,
40 employee, agent or representative of any such entity.
41 § 4. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new
42 section 11-0540 to read as follows:
43 § 11-0540. Prohibition on permits authorizing the use of elephants in
44 entertainment acts.
45 The department shall not issue any license or permit that would
46 authorize the use of an elephant in an entertainment act pursuant to
47 section three hundred eighty of the agriculture and markets law.
48 § 5. This act shall take effect two years after it shall have become a
49 law. Provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amend-
50 ment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implemen-
51 tation of the provisions of this act on its effective date are author-
52 ized and directed to be completed on or before such date.