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San Francisco Supervisors Propose Ban On Wild & Exotic Animals For Entertainment Purposes

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— When's the last time you saw a flea circus or for that matter a stripper in North Beach with a boa constrictor? KCBS, KPIX and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier joked during his morning radio segment, but the truth is a group of San Francisco supervisors is trying to ban the use of wild and exotic animals for entertainment purposes within the city's limits.

District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang proposed the ban that would include a wide-range of animals including; lions, tigers, bears to chimpanzees and even kangaroos. It would extend to aquatic animal like whales, dolphins and alligators too.

The ban would apply to movie shoots, circus acts and street performers, but you can rest easy because domesticated dogs, cats and even horses are somehow exempt from the law.

Matier noted that this move comes in the wake of cities like Oakland who have banned the use of bullhooks to keep elephants under control in circus acts, although that ban doesn't go into effect until 2017.

"It's part of a statewide move. It's an easy one for San Francisco to do because quite honestly they don't have any circuses or a lot of animal acts here, but they want to get the ball rolling. San Francisco has been a leader in this type of political move," Matier said.

According to Matier, he likens the political move to a snowball legislation, where it starts local, moves on to the state-level and on to a national scale.

"They did it with plastic bags, they did it with bottled water and supervisors tried to do it with the ban on toys in Happy Meals. They've done it with a number of things and the idea is to catch attention," he said.

It's an easy proposal to catch on in an urban area like the city of San Francisco, but Matier isn't so sure it would catch on in other places in the state where rodeos and circuses are popular.

Supervisors Scott Wiener and Norman Yee signed on as co-authors to this proposal.


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