PETA has sent an urgent letter to the Atlanta City Council
exhorting it to pass an ordinance proposed by Councilmembers Felicia Moore and
Natalyn Archibong that would ban all bullhook use in the city. The new measure
would strengthen recently
passed legislation
that is unenforceable and will do nothing to protect elephants used in circuses
from abuse.

Excessive Burden of
Proof

The ordinance passed on June 18 bans the use of bullhooks only when a witness comes forward to attest that they were used to “punish”
or “discipline” an elephant and that the specific incident resulted
in the elephant’s skin being observably broken, scarred, or otherwise damaged—an
almost impossible task given that handlers commonly strike elephants in places
that hide the wounds, such as behind the ears or under the chin.

Nor do all bullhook beatings break the skin, even when they
cause serious injuries—and when they do cause bleeding, circuses apply a gray
powder called “Wonder Dust” to cover up any wounds since it blends in
with elephants’ skin.

Along with the letter, PETA sent videotapes showing several
incidents in which elephants were beaten with bullhooks in California, which
has a law that’s virtually identical to Atlanta’s. In none of these instances
was the perpetrator prosecuted.

What You Can Do

California’s failed elephant-protection law proves that as
long as circus elephant handlers have bullhooks, they’re going to beat
elephants with them. Please join PETA in making it clear to the Atlanta City
Council that a total ban on bullhooks is the only way to stop circuses from
beating elephants. (Please keep all correspondence polite.)

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Article source: PETA Files

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