HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige has pledged to discontinue the issuance of permits for entertainment acts involving wild animals. More than 40 U.S. cities and 30 countries prohibit the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes, including circuses and other performing acts. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Hawaiian Humane Society, Three Ring Ranch and Animal Rights Hawaii commend Governor Ige for recognizing that the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes inherently compromises animal welfare and public safety.
Inga Gibson, Hawaii state director for The HSUS said, “We thank Governor Ige for taking a stand against circuses and other acts involving wild animals and urge residents never to attend such cruel spectacles. Unfortunately, this decision came too late for three bears who are currently en route from Florida to Hawaii for an act at the 50th State Fair. These bears now represent the final chapter in our state’s history of allowing such outdated and unnecessary exhibits.”
Pamela Burns, Hawaiian Humane Society’s president and CEO said, “Wild animals have no place in which the sole purpose is entertainment and such practices are being banned throughout the U.S. and the world. Such entertainment comes at a significant price of suffering for the animals involved. That suffering is exacerbated because of Hawaii’s location that requires arduous travel across land and sea.”
Scott Enright, chair of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture said, “The Hawaii Department of Agriculture understands the current trends concerning animal welfare issues and is pleased to work with Hawaii’s animal welfare groups on prohibiting the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes.”
Cathy Goeggel, president of Animal Rights Hawaii said, “We commend Governor Ige for doing today what should have been done twenty years ago following the tragic escape and shooting death of Tyke, the elephant from a circus in Honolulu. Today, Tyke’s death will no longer be in vain but a symbol of Hawaii’s compassion for these wild creatures.”