Former Hollywood Commissioner Anderson honored for animal-rights work
By David Fleshler
Former Hollywood City Commissioner Cathy Anderson was honored Sunday for her pioneering work in banning animal acts, now that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has announced plans to phase out the use of elephants.
In 1989 Anderson persuaded her colleagues on the Hollywood City Commission to ban the use of exotic or endangered animals in entertainment, keeping circuses with animals out of Hollywood and inspiring many other cities to do the same. On March 5, Feld Entertainment announced that it would remove the 13 Asian elephants from its Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus by 2018, transferring them to a sanctuary in Florida.
“Ringling made an announcement that they plan to phase out elephant acts by 2018, claiming that it was due to ordinances that have been passed and are being passed,” said Nanci Alexander, president of the Animals Rights Foundation of Florida, at a dinner at the Fort Lauderdale vegan restaurant Sublime. “It all began in 1989 when Cathy Anderson convinced the City Commission to pass the landmark animal display ban ordinance to prohibit the display of animals for entertainment purposes.”
Also attending were Alan Koslow, Hollywood city attorney at the time, who wrote the ordinance, Hollywood City Commissioner Peter Hernandez, Margate City Commissioner Lesa "Le" Peerman, former County Commissioner Nicki Grossman and Hallandale Beach City Commissioner Michele Lazarow.
Lazarow said Anderson took the vital first step that emboldened other cities to do the same.
It's pioneers like Cathy that have set the precedent for the other cities to follow.- Michele Lazarow, Hallandale Beach City Commissioner
“It’s pioneers like Cathy that have set the precedent for the other cities to follow,” Lazarow said. “When you go to a city and can say something like, ‘Hollywood’s already passed it,’ that’s what legislators want to hear.”
At the dinner a letter was read from animal rights activist Bob Barker, former host of the game shows the Price is Right and Truth or Consequences.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this landmark ordinance has led to the recent decision by Ringling Bros. to phase out and eventually eliminate elephant acts in their shows,” Barker wrote to Anderson. “Because of all your accomplishments I am honored to say congratulations for a job well done to a dear friend of the animals.”
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