ALERT: Kingman, AZ

Animal "Display and Performance" Ban

Remember to be civil and professional!

UPDATE: We've been informed that the ordinance will be extremely focused and not widespread to affect legitimate animal education programs. However, local residents and stakeholders should still contact officials and request any proposal be done through collaboration with animal educators and not animal rights groups.

Kingman, AZ will be proposing an animal display and performance ban. While the draft language is not scheduled to be presented until the August 15 meeting, language has been suggested. Under the recommended wording, it would be illegal for herp societies to give educational presentations, for example.

This is not a law against abusing animals in traveling circuses. It is a ban on much more under the guise of another issue.

This is being pushed by an animal rights group who considers taking a corn snake into a classroom and beating elephants so they perform tricks as one and the same. Both acts qualify as "traveling circuses" in their eyes. While this group will talk only of abused elephants and tigers, be aware they push for language which bans ALL non-domesticated animals.

Essentially, taking any non-domesticated animal outside of the building where it is kept would be illegal. The only exceptions would be for persons accredited by the Association of Sanctuaries and the American Sanctuary Association, veterinarians, and those with a film permit. “Wild and exotic animal” means any "non-domestic animal" (note the animals listed below are merely examples and not a list of all regulated species). Basically, any animal other than dogs, house cats, a few small mammals, and common livestock would be included. This and similar proposals have popped up at local and state levels in recent years and are from the animal rights playbook.

Please be aware that this is suggested language and not a proposal yet. The language could be more or less restrictive, but officials need to hear opposition before August 15.

The time to act is now! At this time we ask that Kingman residents and those who can provide education on this matter contact officials and city council members.

The suggested language (not a formally proposed ordinance yet) is at the bottom of this page.

The email list is below, but Kingman residents should contact their elected officials. Full contact information can be found at www.cityofkingman.gov/Home.aspx in the "Government" drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Read an article on this issue at www.kdminer.com/news/2017/jul/21/council-requests-circus-animals-ban.

Sample Letter

Email list: jdougherty@cityofkingman.gov, jmiles@cityofkingman.gov, mgates@cityofkingman.gov,

vkress@cityofkingman.gov, tlingenfelter@cityofkingman.gov, jscottstehly@cityofkingman.gov,

dwayt@cityofkingman.gov, sjyocum@cityofkingman.gov, cityattorney@cityofkingman.gov, webmaster@cityofkingman.gov

webmaster@cityofkingman.gov

Kingman email portal: www.cityofkingman.gov/Government/ContactUs.aspx

Copy/paste one of these subject lines, or write your own:

  1. NO to "animal performance" ban
  2. NO to ending animal education events
  3. Opposition to "performance" ban
  4. Animal act ban is overreaching and unjust

Copy/paste this sample letter. Please personalize/edit at least some of the letter.

Dear Kingman Officials,

I oppose an "animal performance and display" ban as a responsible animal owner and animal welfare advocate! It's quite simply unnecessary as animal welfare laws already protect animals and those laws should be enforced. Making more laws which only punish responsible citizens is beyond unjust. Bans often create more problems, rather than address the non-existent issues they propose to fix.

This suggested proposal would make the beneficial, educational outreach programs performed by responsible animal keepers illegal. Many of these events occur at schools and libraries so children can actually see these animals in person. Books and videos are great, but seeing the animals leads to much greater appreciation and fuels the desire to learn. Where will the conservationists and biologists of tomorrow come from? Many of these professionals only took those paths because of events such as these, which will now be banned.

I ask you to reconsider banning animal performances and instead work to enforce current animal welfare laws. Please become educated on this matter by persons other than the animal rights group pushing for this ban. This proposal does not benefit the animals. It does not benefit responsible animal educators. It does not benefit Kingman. Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

Talking Points

Use these to enhance emails, phone calls, and oral/written comments.

  1. This very poorly written ordinance includes language which will make illegal educational programs enjoyed by many children and adults annually.
  2. Animal welfare laws already exist and should be enforced. This is an unnecessary ordinance written to advance a radical agenda and not to protect animals.
  3. The exemption list is absurd and unjust as these are not the people who are giving educational outreach events.
  4. Per the language of the bill, education is apparently a bad thing and people should not learn about animals. Education is a "benefit" and this language makes that illegal.
  5. Children will no longer have the encounters from educational programs which lead to increased interest in learning and reading, positive lifelong memories, and even career paths.
  6. The programs which will be banned are the same ones which produce the biologists, ecologists, veterinarians, conservationists, scientists, and zookeepers of tomorrow.
  7. This ordinance does not protect animals, nor does it improve upon current animal welfare laws.
  8. This is a simple case of another overreaching and unnecessary law that will only affect responsible citizens while criminals skirt the law.

Suggested Ordinance Language

9.52.010 Purpose and Intent.

It is the purpose and intent of the city to protect the public against hazards associated with commercial display or performance of wild and exotic animals and to protect wild and exotic animals from cruel and inhumane treatment.

(Ord. 13-924 § 1, 2013)

9.52.020 Display and Performance of Wild or Exotic Animals Prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or permit the display or performance of any wild and exotic animal for any commercial purpose on any public or private property within the city.

(Ord. 13-924 § 1, 2013)

9.52.030 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter only, the following words and terms shall be deemed to mean and be construed as follows:

“Commercial” means any “for profit” enterprise, whether or not a profit is actually earned.

“Display” means the use or exhibition of wild or exotic animals.

“Domestic animal” means any animal that is livestock, a companion animal, or both. Livestock includes, but is not limited to: (1) poultry; (2) cattle; (3) swine; (4) sheep; (5) goats; and (6) horses. Companion animal means any animal that is commonly kept by a person as a pet or for companionship and includes, but is not limited to: (1) domesticated dogs; (2) domesticated cats; (3) ferrets; (4) gerbils; (5) guinea pigs; (6) hamsters; (7) horses; (8) mice; (9) rabbits; and (10) rats.

“Performance” means any act, circus, ride, trade show, carnival, parade, race, or similar undertaking in which wild or exotic animals are required to perform tricks, fight, or participate as accomplishments in performances for the entertainment, amusement or benefit of an audience. Performance shall not include the display of wild and exotic animals. [NOTES: "Benefit" could be anything, including education. Even though "performances" shall include "displays," displays are also banned.]

“Person” means any individual, establishment, firm, association, organization, partnership, trust, corporation or company.

“Wild and exotic animal” means any non-domestic animal and includes any or all of the following orders and families, or similar orders and families whether bred in the wild or in captivity, and any hybrid with domestic animals. The animals listed in parentheses are intended as examples and are not to be construed as an exhaustive list or limit the generality of each group of animals listed, unless otherwise specified:

  1.    Non-human primates and prosimians (chimpanzees, monkeys);
  2.    Felidae (except domesticated cats);
  3.    Canidae (except domesticated dogs);
  4.    Ursidae (bears);
  5.    Proboscidae (elephants);
  6.    Crocodilia (alligators, crocodiles);
  7.    Marsupialia (kangaroos, opossums);
  8.    Reptilia over eight feet in length and snakes and reptiles of venomous variety;
  9.    Perissodactyla (rhinoceroses, tapirs, but not horses or donkeys or mules);
  10.  Artiodactyla (hippopotamuses, giraffes, camels, but not cattle, swine, sheep or goats);
  11.  Hyaenidae (hyenas);
  12.  Mustelidae (skunks, weasels, otters, badgers);
  13.  Procynonidae (raccoons, coatis);
  14.  Edentata (anteaters, sloths, armadillos);
  15.  Viverridae (mongooses, civets, and genets);
  16.  Struthioniformes (ostriches);
  17.  Casuariiformes (emus).

(Ord. 13-924 § 1, 2013)

9.52.040 Violations—Penalty.

Violations of this chapter are subject to the administrative penalty provisions of Chapter 1.08 of this code.

(Ord. 17-1003 § 6, 2017; Ord. 13-924 § 1, 2013)

9.52.050 Exemptions.

The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

  1.    Veterinarians in the ordinary course of a veterinarian’s practice of business.
  2.    Educational activities endorsed or accredited by the Association of Sanctuaries and the American Sanctuary Association.
  3.    Activities conducted pursuant to a film permit issued pursuant to Chapter 5.80 of this code.

(Ord. 13-924 § 1, 2013)

Article written by USARK