ALERT: New York - Mar 3, 2021

New York Senate Bill 4840 (S4840) is a “traveling animal act” ban that would prohibit exhibition and even educational programs with many species (list included). These species are already very heavily regulated and current laws apply. The original bill only applied to “circuses” but it was just amended (changed) and now covers “traveling animal acts” (meaning any transportation of animals to an exhibit or program).
Per the bill summary: “This bill would prohibit the New York Department of Environmental Conservation from issuing permits or licenses to entities seeking to place wild animals on display in any setting other than a zoo, aquarium, or wildlife sanctuary.” That even means no educational programs with any species below at schools, Scout meetings, public libraries, etc.

This bill has a limited species list that will not affect many people, but as we know, the bill can be amended now or the law can be amended after it passes. It is a superfluous and unnecessary bill driven by animal rights groups.

The bill simply states a ban on programs with “wild animals” (which is very vague and broad) but New York has a definition for wild animal under Chapter 43-B. Of the Consolidated Laws. Article 11. Fish and Wildlife. Title 1:

…Wild animal includes, and is limited to, any or all of the following orders and families:

Nonhuman primates and prosimians,
Felidae and all hybrids thereof, with the exception of the species Felis catus (domesticated and feral cats…) and hybrids of Felis catus that are registered… without any wild felid parentage for a minimum of five generations,
Canidae (with the exception of domesticated dogs and captive bred fennec foxes (vulpes zerda),
All reptiles that are venomous by nature, pursuant to department regulation, and the following species and orders: Burmese Python (Python m. bivittatus), Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus), African Rock Python (Python sabae), Green Anaconda (Eunectes maurinus), Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), Australian Amethystine Python (Morelia amethistina and Morelia kinghorni), Indian Python (Python molurus), Asiatic (water) Monitor ( Varanus salvator), Nile Monitor ( Varanus nilocitus), White Throat Monitor ( Varanus albigularis), Black Throat Monitor (Varanus albigularis ionides) and Crocodile Monitor ( Varanus salvadori), Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodensis) and any hybrid thereof,
SB4840 has been assigned to the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee and is sponsored by Senator Biaggi.

You can read the amended bill and all details at NY State Senate Bill S4840A.

Find Committee Members at Senators & Committees | NY State Senate.

Sample Messaging

Email list:,,,,,,,,,,

Subject line: NO to S4840

Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Members,

I write today in opposition to Senate Bill 4840. S4840 is a superfluous and unnecessary bill.While the intent is understood, multiple laws already exist regarding animal cruelty and welfare, including Agriculture and Markets Law starting with § 350 and regulation specific to the listed species found at Chapter 43-B. Of the Consolidated Laws. Article 11. Fish and Wildlife. Title 5.

I find this bill overreaching. Some of these species are commonly used in educational outreach programs. These programs teach people, and especially children, about animals, biology, and conservation. Those fortunate to witness these programs leave with an appreciation for the animals that books or videos can never replicate. Passing a ban on these experiences is unjust and overreaching.

People working with these species in New York must already comply with extensive and burdensome regulations under current state law. Please vote NO to S4840 as current laws are already sufficient to ensure animal welfare and public safety. Work to enforce those laws rather than just slapping another redundant law on the books. Thank you for your time and have a good day.


[insert your name and New York city or county]