Zoos stun animals to force mating. A New York bill could put an end to this practice.
New York could soon ban the use of psychoactive drugs by zoos that are distributing them to animals to force them to mate and otherwise calm them down. The law, known as Johari’s Law, was introduced by New York State Assembly MP Jessica González-Rojas and State Senator Jabari Brisport (a longtime vegan activist) and was inspired by a specific incident that occurred in The New York Times. The article told the story of a female gorilla named Johari who kept fighting the male she was housed with, and the zoo gave her Prozac to calm her down and let him mate with her. The article, titled “Modern Zoos Are Not Worth the Moral Cost,” also mentioned that animals in zoos are given psychoactive drugs to control their various responses to captivity.
“What happened to Johari is state-sanctioned sexual violence against endangered animals that is harmed because of our capitalist desire to entertain people at the expense of other species,” said González-Rojas. “Breeding is a natural process that shouldn’t be forced through the use of psychotropic drugs. Animals deserve our protection and that is especially true for those who are in captivity in zoos. “
Support for ending drug use in zoos
Johari’s law – which is backed by several animal rights groups, including Voters For Animal Rights, Last Chance For Animals, and Four Paws – would protect animals by preventing institutions from using medication, e.g. Facilitate breeding. Lawmakers argues that mating and reproduction should not be forced through drug use.
“The practice of compulsory breeding by zoos is hideous in itself, but the use of psychoactive drugs during the process is a new level of cruelty and inhumanity,” said Claire LaFrance, communications director at Four Paws. “The fact that these facilities have sunk so low shows how desperate they are for financial gains and how detrimental captivity is to wildlife. In addition, these invasive drugs and the subsequent births in captivity do not contribute to the preservation or protection of species in their natural environment and prove to be a complete contradiction to real species and species protection. “
New York law protects elephants
The Johari Act is the latest law introduced in New York to protect animals. In 2017, the Elephant Protection Act – originally a bipartisan bill by Senator Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown) and Rep. Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) – was incorporated into law banning elephants from circuses nationwide.
“Using elephants in such environments is dangerous to their health and potentially abusive,” said New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. “The Elephant Protection Act is fueling this government’s efforts to combat cruelty to animals and create a stronger, more humane New York.”
In the same year that New York banned the use of elephants in circuses, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, often dubbed “The World’s Cruelest Show” by animal rights activists, announced that they were closing their doors after 146 years of operation would forever.