Victory! Another City Steps Up for Elephants by Banning Bullhooks
Many circuses and zoos have used bullhooks, or rods that feature a sharp metal hook on the end, for decades to “train” and control elephants through pain and intimidation. This week, the Richmond City Council took a stand against their use and voted 8-1 in favor of a new ordinance that will ban them within the city beginning in 2018.
Richmond will now be joining a growing list of regions around the country that have passed bans on bullhooks, including Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami Beach. According to the Humane Society of the United States, the recent vote makes Richmond the third largest city in the U.S. to do so.
“We are delighted that Richmond has taken this courageous step to further establish our city as one of progressive thinking about and compassion for animals,” said Robin Robertson Starr, chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA. “By banning bullhooks in Richmond, we help ensure that our children learn about wild animals in their real habitats and encourage true respect and caring for the magnificent animals that share our planet.”
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Councilwoman Kathy C. Graziano, the lone opponent of the ban, said the purpose of the ordinance was to end elephant acts and that this “has been accomplished” already.
Unfortunately, even though Ringling Bros. will finally be retiring its elephant performers, there are still other circuses traveling across the country with elephants, and other wild animals, who still need need our advocacy on their behalf.
This week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a list of the top eight worst circuses in the U.S. for animals, many of which still use elephants and have a really bad track record when it comes to their treatment.
While more and more areas continue to take a stand against the use of wild animals in entertainment by banning them and restricting their use, we can all help them today by refusing to buy tickets to shows that exploit animals.
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