Hats off to all seven Rochester City Council members for passing a ban on exotic animal entertainment acts in our city. This initiative came from the grassroots, realizes our citizens’ values, and has an incredible level of support in the community.

We know so much more these days about the incredible lives wild animals lead in their native environments, and we know that a lifetime of intensive confinement and harsh training and punishment in traveling acts is no place for elephants, tigers, bears, primates, lions, and others. Across the political spectrum, people are unified in their opposition to animal cruelty, and every day more jurisdictions are enacting policies like this.

Happily there are now terrific and humane alternatives for families to attend instead. Today there are a growing number of exotic-animal-free circuses offering all the fun, thrills and chills – with trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, clowns, acrobats, jugglers, dancers and more.

It's great to have something we can all celebrate and be proud of: Our city took action to protect wild and exotic animals and that will encourage the development and success of imaginative humane alternatives.

Viki Morris, Rochester