New Jersey is poised to become the first state to outlaw the use of exotic animals in traveling acts. Lawmakers passed a bill, named for Nosey, an elephant who was forced to perform in a roadside circus show. The legislation, awaiting Gov. Phil Murphy’s signature, prohibits the use of elephants and other wild or exotic animals in traveling shows including carnivals, circuses, fairs, parades, petting zoos and trade shows.

The ban was overwhelmingly passed by the state’s General Assembly and Senate but then sat on previous governor Chris Christie’s desk for a pocket veto. 

Nosey is now living in a sanctuary after she was removed from her owners whose circus had been cited by the USDA more than 200 times. The owners had forced Nosey, who officials said suffered from crippling arthritis, to continue in their act despite her suffering, before she was finally removed from them. Nosey is now living in a sanctuary in Tennessee.

A number of states are considering similar bills including New York, which last year passed a new law prohibiting elephants performances in traveling shows. New York City has also banned the use of elephants in entertainment.

New Jersey’s bill was co-sponsored by Assemblymen Raj Mukherji, Andrew Zwicker and Jamel Holley.

Contact Gov. Murphy and tell him to sign Assembly bill 1923. The governor’s office can be reached at 609-292-6000 or online here.