Council doesn’t ban wild circus animals, but considers more regulations

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The Minneapolis City Council narrowly rejected a proposed ban on wild circus animals, opting to instead consider a measure that would increase circus regulations and inspections.

The council voted 7-6 to substitute the ban on wild circus animals with an alternative ordinance proposed by Council Members Paul Ostrow (1st Ward) and Betsy Hodges (13th Ward) that sets more stringent standards for the care of the animals. In addition to Ostrow and Hodges, the council members who voted for the alternative measure included Council President Barb Johnson (4th Ward) and Council Members Robert Lilligren (6th Ward), Lisa Goodman (7th Ward), Scott Benson (11th Ward) and Diane Hofstede (3rd Ward).

Yet the council isn’t done debating circus operations. While council members agreed by a slim majority that they preferred more regulations to a wild circus animal ban, they also voted 10-3 to send Ostrow and Hodges’ ordinance to the Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee for further review. The proposal to increase circus regulations and inspections will undergo further scrutiny and likely more changes in that process. Johnson, Goodman and Lilligren were the three council members who opposed sending the measure back to committee.