L.A. Considers Possibility Of Banning Bullhook Use On Elephants

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Coincidence or not, a discussion about the use of bullhooks with elephants at Los Angeles City Hall is happening just a few weeks before Ringling Bros. Circus is set to arrive in town.

A Ringling Bros. show | Photo: Joms/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Los Angeles’ Board of Animal Services Commissioners recently voted to recommend the city adopt an ordinance that would prohibit the use of bullhooks and other tools used in elephant training.

While a decision hasn’t been reached and the topic is still up for debate — a city panel is set to discuss it at a June 5 meeting — critics say the bullhook, which resembles a fireplace poker, is an outdated method of training animals.

“All elephants used by circuses are subjected to abuse,” said Carney Chester, an attorney with the PETA Foundation. “There is no excuse for these endangered animals to be subjected to this treatment for a few fleeting moments of entertainment.”

Chester argues that training elephants with bullhooks not only puts animals at risk, but trainers have a substantial likelihood of death. “It’s more dangerous than coal mining,” she said. “Elephants trained with bullhooks, subjected to constant threat of bullhooks [are] prone to very erratic, unpredictable, violent behavior.”

Banning bullhook use on elephants is not without precedent. Fulton County, Georgia was the first locality to prohibit their use. The ban, however, was challenged when Ringling Bros. came to Atlanta and secured a temporary restraining order.

Zoos across the country were criticized for decades over what some activists called inhumane treatment of elephants. However, many centers, including the Los Angeles Zoo, have adopted policies that only allow “protected contact” between elephants and zookeepers, which places a barrier between the animal and keeper.

Read the rest of this news:-http://www.kcet.org/updaily/1st_and_spring/animals/la-considers-possibility-of-banning-bullhook-use-on-elephants.html

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Not the Greatest Show on Earth? Alec Baldwin urges Americans to stop attending the circus because of elephant abuse

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“Please see the highlighted link (treatment of elephants) to see my other post on the brutal training these sentient beings endure for a life of entertainment for the public. Anyone who is not appalled by the undercover PETA video, of elephants being beaten & abused; should seriously try to get a heart.”

Alec Baldwin is speaking out again – this time, against trips to the circus.

In a four-minute video on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the outspoken actor urges Americans to boycott Ringling Bros and other circuses because of their inhumane treatment of elephants.

He claims that elephants live very different lives than their wild cousins and from a young age are ‘stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with bull hooks, and shocked with electric prods.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2116484/Not-Greatest-Show-Earth-Alec-Baldwin-urges-Americans-stop-attending-circus-elephant-abuse.html#ixzz1pTRTbmgm

“In Atlanta the circus is coming to town”

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 “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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