“In Atlanta the circus is coming to town”.

In Atlanta, the storied Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to town this week. At the same time, a legal sideshow has sprouted up over the question of how to handle elephants humanely.

At issue is the use of an ancient, and some say cruel, tool used in the training and control of elephants. Known as a bullhook, or ankus, it is typically a long shaft with a metal hook at the end that is used to prod, and sometimes punish the animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals alleges that in the Ringling Bros. circus, “elephants are beaten, hit, poked, prodded and jabbed with sharp hooks, sometimes until bloody.”

At the time, an official with Feld Entertainment, the owner of Ringling Bros., said that if bullhooks were banned, it would be impossible to have elephants at the circus.

This week, a county judge issued a temporary restraining order that prevents the county from enforcing animal control laws in the city, according to the paper.

Read more: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2012/02/atlanta_elephant_controversy.html

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