HACKENSACK - Freeholders in northern New Jersey have approved an ordinance to ban circuses and other exotic animal shows on county property.

The Record reports Bergen County's freeholders unanimously adopted the ordinance on Wednesday. The ban covers exhibitions, shows and performances on county property and doesn't ban animal shows on private or municipal land.

The action drew praise from members of the state's chapter of the League of Humane Voters. The league's regional director, Julie O'Connor, says the move helps put a "nail in the coffin of animal abuse."

The law specifies a dozen categories of animals, including tigers, snakes and elephants. It doesn't cover horses, dogs or other domesticated animals.  The ordinance also allows exceptions for zoos, sanctuaries, rescue centers and educational programs featuring animals.