"The State of Maryland and the Baltimore County government have done a tremendous job in safeguarding the health and welfare of animals with their current regulations," the statement said. "Our mutual efforts to protect animals and humans from abuse will continue."
Bevins and animal rights activists had raised concerns that circus animals are forced into performing in unhealthy conditions. Bevins suggested that circus goers might not be so entertained if they saw the living and traveling conditions for the animals.
County health officials inspect all of UniverSoul's animals and living conditions while they are here. UniverSoul has had no county violations, officials said.
Deborah Stone Hess, an animal welfare activist who worked with Bevins on the bill, said she hopes this isn't the final word for protecting circus animals.
"I am disappointed," Hess said of the bill's withdrawal. "But I'm hopeful that it will be reintroduced at a later date."
Cities and states have increasingly banned circus animals or some of the tools used to train them. Most recently, the New York City Council voted in July to ban wild animal acts in circuses, where — as in Baltimore County — UniverSoul is the only circus affected.
The Montgomery County Council is weighing similar legislation.
Pushback against animal acts contributed to the demise of the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, which performed its final shows this year. Under pressure from animal rights groups, Ringling Bros. retired its elephants a year ago, and then saw a sharp drop in ticket sales.