The city of Irvine, California has enacted an ordinance that broadly – and boldly – takes on a number of industries that use animals – circuses, rodeos and pet stores.
Under the new law retail sales of dogs and cats is illegal. The reason stated "was twofold:
1. To eliminate any Irvine outlet for retail sale of dogs or cats purchased by the retailer from a commercial mass breeding facility; and
2. To reduce the possibility of on the spot, impulse purchases of dogs and cats."
In banning such retail sales, Irvine joins a growing list of local governments trying to eliminate a common sales outlet for puppy and cat mills – pet stores. As the city council explained, "the City does not have the means, expertise or authority to inspect" the "puppy mills" and "kitten factories" that supply pet stores.
Only one pet store in Irvine currently sells dogs and cats. Under the ordinance, the pet store could offer dogs and cats for adoption fees. The store could also allow rescue organizations space to offer dogs or cats for adoption.
Irvine has also decided to ban rodeos "and similar events". A rodeo (and similar event) is defined as a "public exhibition or competition between persons which includes two or more any of the following events: bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, or like any similar event". For more on regulation of rodeos in other jurisdictions….
Finally, the law prohibits circuses that exhibit wild and exotic animals. The existing Irvine Municipal Code defines a circus as "a commercial variety show
featuring animal acts for public entertainment." The Code also defines wild and exotic animals as "animals normally found in the wild state which are being kept for exhibition purposes or as private pets."
Other animal exhibitions and shows would continue to be permitted. For more on regulation of circuses in the U.S. and other countries…..