In June, the Board of Commissioners of Fulton
County, Georgia, at the urging of PETA, Demi Moore,
and other animal advocates, banned
the use of bullhooks, fireplace poker–like goads that are used to beat and hook
elephants in sensitive areas of their bodies in order to make them obey
This meant that if Ringling
wanted to bring the Cruelest Show on Earth to Atlanta, it would have to leave
behind the torture devices
that the elephants fear.
But with its Atlanta shows scheduled to
start this week, Ringling, knowing that it can’t control the elephants without bullhooks
and so would have to leave the pachyderms out of the ring, filed a plea for a temporary
restraining order (TRO) against the ban on Monday afternoon, claiming that
there was no specific intergovernmental agreement between Fulton County and the
city of Atlanta and that the ban did not apply in the city. To everyone’s
surprise, Ringling got its way, and the TRO was granted.
PETA has issued the following statement:
The legislation banning bullhooks
was passed because of a serious commitment by the citizens and commissioners of
Fulton County to prohibit this sort of animal abuse in their community. The
Municipal Code of Atlanta very clearly incorporates all of the Fulton County
animal control ordinances—including the bullhook ban. PETA is concerned that
the clearly worded prohibition and the wishes of Fulton County citizens have
been disregarded without a proper legal basis. Bullhooks, as admitted by
Ringling trainers and executives, are used to beat, jab, hook, and yank
elephants in order to force them to obey. There are only two uses for a
bullhook: to inflict pain and to instill a fear of pain. While a ban on the use
of bullhooks is an important step in the right direction, it is now clear that
anyone who cares about elephants and other captive exotic animals must make the
compassionate decision never to attend a circus that uses animals.
Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts
issued a statement saying he believes that there was an implied agreement
between Atlanta and Fulton County and that the ban should be upheld.
Compassionate people are making their voices heard,
and they will continue until the beatings under the big top stop.
Article source: PETA Files