On Monday, New Jersey state legislature voted to ban the use of elephants and other exotic animals from circuses and other entertainment facilities within the state. With overwhelming support, the bill passed the Senate and the Assembly, and if Gov. Chris Christie signs the bill, “Nosey’s Law” will make New Jersey the first state with such a ban.

Sen. Raymond Lesniak and Sen. Nilsa Cruz Perez sprung into action after hearing of the plight of Nosey the elephant, a 35-year old African elephant used in The Great American Family Circus of Orlando, who was recently confiscated from her owner in Alabama after allegations of abuse and neglect.

In November, Nosey was seized by local authorities in Lawrence County, Alabama, and taken to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee after she was found to be suffering from numerous health issues, including infections, dehydration, hyperkeratosis, and muscle atrophy. Hugo and Franciszka Liebel, Nosey’s owners, were arrested and charged with animal cruelty on December 15. The Liebels were cited by the USDA with over 200 violations.

Nosey’s future is still to be decided. In the meantime, she’s enjoying her time at The Elephant Sanctuary.

The new law’s intent is to ban the use of all exotic animals from traveling animal acts. According to the state, this includes any animal not native to New Jersey.

The bill defines “traveling animal act” as “any performance which requires an animal to be transported to or from the location of the performance in a mobile or traveling housing facility.”

“Performance” is defined as “any animal act, carnival, circus, display, exhibition, exposition, fair, parade, petting zoo, presentation, public showing, race, ride, trade show, or similar undertaking in which animals perform tricks, give rides, or participate as accompaniments for the entertainment, amusement, or benefit of a live audience.”

Thanks to caring people, Nosey is no longer suffering for human entertainment. Instead, she lives a life of freedom and peace — a life all animals deserve.

“The conditions for Nosey and other elephants in similar circumstances is cruel and inhumane,” said Sen. Lesniak. “These animals are not here to be used as entertainment for humans.”

We hope other states will follow in New Jersey’s footsteps to create a more compassionate future for animals.

Note: Please keep comments peaceful and family friendly.

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  1. Jennifer

    how can.we make this happen nationwide? Please connect me with the author. I am setting up a non profit and this is exactly what part of it is about. Getting elephants put of circuses, work amd to sanctuary where they can.live free. Please contact me [email protected] desperate to learn how to make this happen throughout the US

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  2. Armando P Diaz

    It is a bitter-sweet, though no small victory, after decades of nosey’s suffering. It has been a long wait and many efforts that brought about this outcome. It is with deep relief to hear this news. I love Nosey!

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  3. linda

    It seems like there is petition after petition fighting and trying to have these circuses and fairs and ext. from exploiting the wild life. Everyone of these animals is in drier need of vets assistance one way or the other, they can’t go back to the wild. Why does this have to drag on from city after city after city. Why can’t it be done that all politicians come to gather and make this all world wide. It would also save on medical attention needed for these abused animals and we all know that the animals are beaten, starved, in ways that shouldn’t be happening. Also for those who are accused of the cruelty they should be charged and be responsible for the vet costs.

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    • Kathleen Donnafield

      And…fighting for justice and rights for animals is and will continue to be…constant! We can never stop the battle against abuse of animals because as long as humans exist, there will be abuses inflicted against the most innocent and vulnerable!

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  4. Tamara Goertz

    At last this archaic, cruel display for public enjoyment may start coming to an end. This is long overdue.

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  5. Natasa Jackson

    Why there are still circuses that use animals, as well as why imposing bans on them worldwide should be such a long dragged process, is beyond all understanding. So happy for Nosey!! <3

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  6. Bev

    She looks so happy at the sanctuary as opposed to the horrific conditions her owners kept her in and being chained constantly. LOOK AT THAT PHOTO! A picture is worth a million words…………

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  7. Juliette Smith

    Look at her, she looks so happy!!

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  8. Emily Ann

    Nosey’s Law has passed and ALL wild animals are now banned from performing in the circus or at state fairs! Hooray!! It’s 2018, the circus is antiquated, the world is PROGRESSING. I realize that word is terrifying to certain pple (baby boomers) but you’ll be on your way soon, the circus should be the least of your worries.

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    • Teresa Wehunt

      I am a baby boomer and can promise your not only are we thrilled for the progress of banning wild animals from performing in NJ, we advocate for other states to do the same. Progress isn’t scary, people are !

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  9. Debra A Ingle

    I’m so glad to see this kind of progress! I can’t wait to see more of these elephants having fun together in a short video? I pray for all the rest in danger to be helped soon. Thank you for all the hard work you are doing to save these special animals in our world. The elephants are so smart and the way they stick together for each other is important for people to know this. I wasn’t very surprised to see 2 kissing in a recent post.

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  10. LMS

    Look at Nosey now!! How beautiful to see her experiencing freedom to just roam around and pick leaves. Just a wonderful thing, no more chains and abuse. Wishing her a peaceful and healthy rest of days! Thanks to all who helped in any way to make this possible!

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  11. Gary

    All of us who have written and called are ecstatic that Nosey is finally enjoying her life. It just shows that we can make change and that we need to keep going, there are so many other animals that are still suffering. Yahoo!

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  12. Ravinder Singh

    I hope.I am happy for nosey.After great struggle she has her freedom.

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  13. Tisa

    Christie is not a person that I respect. He wouldn’t sign the ban to stop the hideous use of gestation crates for pigs. He could have —. But cruelly didn’t. I do hope he will sign the bill to help elephants.

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  14. Lisa Scharin (@LisaScharin)

    I know Christie was not re-elected. The new Governor should be the one who signs this bill!!!! Christie wanted the Bear Hunt and also stopped a ban on gestation crates for pigs in factory farms!!!!! Everyone needs to go to his facebook page, call his office and ask him to sign this bill as a last legacy he can leave to show compassion, mercy that he lacked during his tenure!!!

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  15. Catherine Roberts

    Wonderful news! Humanity has a long way to go with its treatment of our co-inhabitants of Earth!
    Well done USA ??

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    Just reading this wonderful news about Nosey…..and it has made my day! I have sent letters and signed petitions on her behalf for the past few years. I have followed her sad journey and responded to every post regarding her continued miserable life. I am thrilled that she is in sanctuary and will be able to live out her days in an environment more suitable to elephants. So happy for you, Nosey. Many thanks to all who made this possible. I, too, hope that this law will pass and be an example to all the other states.

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  17. Leanne

    Thankyou Senator Lesniak. I pray that Gov. Christie signs the bill. Animals should never have to face abuse or be forced to entertain us. Thankyou to The Elephant Sancutary for taking Nosey in and thankyou to the Alabama authorities who rescued her and sent her to the sanctuary in the first place. I hope her bastard owners have the book thrown at them. ??

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  18. Anonymous

    BRAVO!!! Happy life, Nosey. Thanx to your New Jersey friends.

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  19. April M

    Hallelujah! Another step forward, a giant step for the animals we all love and try to save. You go Nosey! Enjoy your freedom baby! Now, thanks to New Jersey, many, many more states will follow suit! Thank you Senator Lesniak! It’s good to know that FINALLY the law makers are making it known that animals are important also! Our wildlife are not to be “owned” and made do “tricks” that are not something they would not normally do. These animals were not put here for that and Thank God our shouts, kicks and screams are being heard and felt! A small step in the right direction but nevertheless a step! One foot in front of the other in front of the other in front of the other will eventually get all there!

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  20. cindi scholefield

    Sign it Christie, Sign it. Sign it.

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  21. Alpina Chilton

    Thank you all who have helped and persisted in the safety and removal of Nosey performing in8 circus acts, and keeping her confined with neglect of her health in inhumane unsanitary conditions. We are thankful to everyone contributing compassion and care to bring this to justice, and giving Nosey her life back where she belongs.

    Alpina Chilton

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  22. Anne

    What a big step in the right direction. I hope other states follow. Our wildlife doesn’t belong to circuses, and no child wants to see a tortured animal do stupid tricks, all for an abuser’s profit.

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  23. Kim M

    It’s about time. Animals aren’t here for our entertainment.

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  24. stormidnight

    It took far too long to get Nosey released. I’ve been signing petitions for her for years. The USDA needs to take abuse far more seriously and act more quickly than they do. The bureaucracy is maddening and cruel.

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  25. Linda Boyce

    im so pleased that NOSEY AT LAST IS OUT OF HER BARBARIC LIFE OF HELL thanks to all that made this possible I hope she will be happy and now know what love is IM GLAD THERE IS A NOSEYS LAW IN PLACE THANKS NOSEY

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    • Judy Humphrys

      I absolutely agree. Poor Nosey has been THE poster child of long term elephant abuse. I was astonished that it took so long for justice to finally step in and help poor Nosey escape the life of hell. She is now finally in a better place. Thank you Elephant Sanctuary for being there for Nosey and so many other elephants.

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  26. Steve

    I thought that elephants on display in the US was all but halted. What the hell is wrong with New Jersey?

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  27. Dorothy Callahan

    Praying this law will be passed not only in New Jersey but in ALL states!!!

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  28. Gyselinck

    Il est tenp con laisse les éléphants et heure bébé tranquille et tout les animaux cirques foir zoo yessssssssssssssssss

    Reply Report comment

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