AZA News Releases

Association of Zoos and Aquariums Urges NJ Gov. Christie’s Veto of “Nosey’s Law,” Continues Support of Original Bill

Update: Governor Christie did not sign "Nosey's Law," effectively ending the legislation for this term.

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) strongly urges New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to veto an amended version of “Nosey’s Law” regulating the use of elephants in entertainment and education.

The original version of “Nosey’s Law” (S. 2508), as first introduced in September 2017, would prohibit the use of elephants in traveling animal acts including carnivals, circuses, and other performances. Although AZA supports the base legislation, a last-minute amendment prohibiting long-established animal ambassador education programs conducted by AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums led the organization to withdraw its support.

In response, AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe issued the following statement:

“As leaders in wildlife conservation, AZA and its accredited zoos and aquariums are committed to the highest standards in animal care and welfare. “Nosey’s Law” had the potential to greatly improve the lives of elephants in New Jersey. However, the amendment prohibiting carefully-designed, humane, accredited animal education programs deprives the public of unique opportunities to connect with nature. Elephants in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are ambassadors for their species, which educate and inspire the next generation of conservationists. AZA hopes that going forward; the New Jersey legislature will consider the original bill without this damaging amendment.”

Dan Ashe’s letter encouraging Governor Chris Christie to veto the legislation can be found on AZA’s website.

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

Posted by Ashley Jones at 2:00 PM
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