Montgomery County considers performing animals ban

- A proposal to ban animals performing in circuses is being considered by officials in Montgomery County.

The proposal comes on the heels of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey announcing its end to “The Greatest Show on Earth” back in the spring.

The circus called an end to the show following a 146-year run following a dip in attendance after it stopped using elephants during its performances.

Now some Montgomery County politicians say it’s time to fold the tents on all performing animals in circuses or other businesses that benefit from showing performing animals.

Montgomery County Councilman George Leventhal said he believes animals don't want to perform in circuses and making them do so is inhumane.

"We do have circuses in Montgomery County. Now circuses can be popular and successful utilizing humans. Humans have informed consent. They know what they're doing. An animal cannot consent," the Democrat said.

The proposal would ban the use of wild animals in exhibits or shows for entertainment, including camels, bears, primates, wildcats, crocodiles and snakes.

The ban would have a major impact on businesses such as the Lewis and Clark Circus, which was just in the news after a camel bit a handler.

While Leventhal said he’s received support for the idea from animal rights groups, several people FOX 5 spoke to were not celebrating the idea.

"If the animals are being taken care of, well care of, and trained properly, then no there's no reason for them to be banned," a man told FOX 5.

"I don't know that I would go to a show that didn't have it,” a woman told FOX 5. “I just loved it. It was all part of the fun in growing up."

Leventhal said the bill would not affect agriculture exhibitions of animals such as the Montgomery County Fair.

He said farmers and 4-H Clubs would be allowed to continue their work in preserving the county's farming history and future.

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