ALERT! Public hearing this Thursday, Dec. 17 at 2:00 PM

Just a reminder that the Ordinance Committee of the Cambridge, MA City Council is holding a public hearing this Thursday, Dec. 17 at 2:00PM to discuss a proposed exotic animal ordinance (see details below).  The hearing will be held in the Sullivan Chamber at Cambridge City Hall (795 Massachusetts Avenue).  If anyone in the local Massachusetts area is available to attend Thursday’s hearing, please let me know.  Otherwise, please take a moment to contact the City Council members to express your opposition to this ordinance.  Individual email addresses for each Council member are listed below, or you can send an email to to reach all nine Council members at once.

Thank you!

Mary Lou


From: Kelly, Mary Lou
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2015 4:21 PM
To: Kelly, Mary Lou
Subject: exotic animal ban hearing in Cambridge, MA December 17

Action Alert: Proposed exotic animal ban in Cambridge, MA

On December 17, 2015, the Ordinance Committee of the Cambridge City Council will hold a public hearing on an ordinance to prohibit the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling shows and circuses.  If passed, this ordinance would make it unlawful to “conduct, sponsor, walk, exhibit or operate a traveling show or circus that includes wild or exotic animals” within the City of Cambridge.

Please take a moment to contact the nine (9) members of the Cambridge City Council with a short e-mail, phone call, fax, or letter, stating that you oppose this exotic animal ordinance.  Encourage your friends, family, and other contacts to do the same – especially those who live in the Cambridge/Boston area or who have been to any sort of animal exhibit in Cambridge.  Contact information for the City Council members is listed below.  Sample talking points for your correspondence are also included at the end of this alert, but please use your own words and your own experiences as a supporter of exotic animal displays/performances to politely express your opposition to this ordinance.

For your reference, the attached document contains the text of the proposed Cambridge ordinance, the city’s legal opinion, and background material that has been sent to City Council members.  Please note that the document is 33 pages long – if you have trouble opening the attachment because of its size, you can also access the document at the following link:

Thank you!

Cambridge, MA City Council

Mailing address:
Cambridge City Council
City Hall, 2nd Floor
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Phone: (617) 349-4280
FAX: (617) 349-4287

Email:  (messages sent to this address will be received by all nine councilors)

Individual City Council members:

David P. Maher (Mayor) –

Dennis A. Benzan (Vice Mayor) –

Dennis J. Carlone –

Leland Cheung –

Craig A. Kelley –

Nadeem A. Mazen –

Marc C. McGovern –

E. Denise Simmons –

Timothy J. Toomey, JR. –

Sample Talking Points

The following are suggestions for your correspondence in Cambridge, but please use your own words, and you do not need to include every bullet point.  Please keep all correspondence respectful.

  • Politely tell the Cambridge City Council members that you are OPPOSED to the exotic animal ordinance, as well as any measure that would prevent circuses and other exotic animal exhibitors from visiting Cambridge.
  • Circus animals and other performing animals are well cared for and generally are healthier and live longer than their counterparts in zoos.
  • True animal experts know that a safe and secure environment is the only acceptable and successful method of training and handling any animal, including exotic and performing animals.
  • If any animal is being mistreated in any environment, then the right answer is to enforce existing laws and regulations to punish bad actors, as opposed to punishing an entire industry and the public who enjoy exotic animal displays.
  • Proponents of performing animal bans mischaracterize or misunderstand the facts about the training and handling of performing animals. Most of the organizations that advocate such bans do so as part of a larger, animal rights agenda which opposes all or most human interaction with animals.
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