A bill proposed by Pace University students to help elephants was recently voted on by the New York Legislature.
The bill, which bans elephants from circuses and other forms of entertainment is headed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk after the State Senate and Assembly both approved it.
The “elephant protection act,” originated and lobbied by students of the Pace University Environmental Policy Clinic was supported by The Humane Society of the United States and sponsored by Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown) and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale), cites the “physical and psychological harm due to the living conditions and treatment to which [elephants] are subjected.”
Students of Pace’s Environmental Policy Clinic devoted their spring semester to assuring passage of the legislation which would make New York the first state to institute the ban. They maintain that the methods used to train elephants have a direct impact on the survival of the species.
“The elephant protection act reflects the values of my generation, who don’t want animals to suffer for the sake of human entertainment,” said Paola Idrovo, a student in Pace’s Environmental Policy Clinic. “Through the experience of writing and lobbying for the bill, we gained a first-hand understanding about the cruelty to which entertainment elephants are subjected and how that threatens the entire species.”
Paulin said elephants had been exploited and abused for too long.
“We can no longer ignore the cruelty that they have endured for our amusement," Paulin said. Confinement, torture and unhealthy living conditions have led to early death for these intelligent, gentle animals.”
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