Los Angeles City Council to decide about elephant ban

Many are hearing the news from groups that there is a bullhook ban on the table at Los Angeles City Council next Wednesday, 23rd, at 10.00am.

What most have not been told, is that there are THREE options on the table, and OPTION 1 and OPTION 3 are the strongest measures for animal protection:

OPTION 1: Elephant ban–
“…an Ordinance prohibiting the use of elephants in traveling shows and exhibitions”.

OPTION 2: Bullhook and other implements ban–
“…an Ordinance prohibiting in any public performance-related context the use of bullhooks (aka “guides” or ankuses”), baseball bats, axe handles, pitchforks and other implements and tools designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants.”

OPTION 3: Combined elephant ban with bullhook ban–
“…an Ordinance prohibiting the use of elephants in traveling shows and exhibitions (including circuses) and, in any public performance-related context, the use of bullhooks/guides,baseball bats, axe handles, pitchforks and other implements and tools designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants.”

After 30 years of undercover investigations and lobbying local cities and regions, and with there now being 20 national bans on the use of animals (either just wild or wild and domestic), ADI has concluded that only a clear ban on all species or specific species can solve the suffering of animals in traveling circuses.

A bullhook ban alone fails to protect the majority of wild animals in traveling circuses; all kinds of tools are used to beat animals and it is not possible to make a workable list; there is no practical way to be sure that these weapons or tools are not being concealed somewhere in the circus, and of course, other tools can be used. Think for a moment of all the chaining and physical abuse of elephants that hasn’t involved bullhooks – like Anne the elephant beaten with pitchforks and brooms, kicked and punched, and not once in the videos used in the cruelty trial was a bullhook used. Banning the bullhook may be a symbolic step, but shouldn’t we be seizing the opportunity to actually stop the suffering? Option 1 does that, at least for elephants.

A bullhook ban does not address public safety issues – having large and stressed wild animals in open spaces in public and behind flimsy mobile, collapsible barriers and facilities is the issue. Importantly, a ban on implements does not address the most severe aspects of the mental and physical suffering – deprived, barren environments, constant travel, inability to move around at will and express normal behavior patterns – all causes of stereotypical behaviors – recorded in all species.

Only a ban on the use of animals in the context of a traveling circus can end the suffering – as has been found by hundreds of towns and cities around the world, and over 20 countries. ADI is of course concerned that just focusing on elephants will leave lions, tigers and other animals vulnerable – and leave LA open to itinerant acts such as the Hall’s Bears, where in recent weeks, we exposed extreme confinement and barren conditions as the bears moved from state to state.

However, there is a chance here to clearly eliminate the suffering of elephants in the city and that should be seized. ADI recommends support for the strongest option, OPTION 1, or at least, Option 3. A species ban is the best option to end the suffering.

Contact us at the ADI Los Angeles office for information about contacting the City Council, and for our briefing on this important campaign: usa@ad-international.org

SUPPORT A BAN ON THE USE OF ELEPHANTS IN TRAVELING SHOWS IN LOS ANGELES!

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2 thoughts on “Los Angeles City Council to decide about elephant ban

  1. A bullhook ban still does not even address the rampant TB epidemic that travels with the circus. But that info will have to come out at all other meetings, public AND behind closed doors.

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