PETA
is unwrapping vegan chocolates and uncorking a bottle of champagne today to
celebrate a historic day for elephants. After we joined a campaign led by local
citizens and rallied our supporters and
educated council members, the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban cruel
bullhooks after a three-year phase-in period. The
City Council chairperson looked away after only a few minutes of watching
PETA’s undercover video of elephants who were beaten with bullhooks, and the
council members grimaced as they passed around the PETA whistleblower photos of
the baby elephant who was tied down and beaten at Ringling’s Florida
compound.  

Bullhooks—rods
with sharp hooks on the end—are used to beat and jab elephants and can be found
in the hands of handlers who travel with circuses, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus and Shrine circuses, which have performed annually in L.A.

Make
no mistake about it: Bullhooks are weapons.
Trainers sink the sharp hooks deep into elephants’ ears, mouths, and other
sensitive parts where their skin is paper-thin and swing the rods like baseball
bats against elephants’ wrists and ankles, where there’s little tissue to
protect their bones from agonizing blows. When the lights come up under the big
top, the trainers, who have spent countless hours “breaking” and
abusing elephants behind the scenes where audiences can’t see, threaten the
frightened animals with bullhooks until they scramble onto tiny stools or
perform other tricks to escape the threat of pain.

“This
is a smart and humane measure and should be adopted,” wrote the Los Angeles Times in an editorial in support of the ban. “If the circus can’t come to town
without bullhooks, then it shouldn’t come.”

PETA
is not keeping all of our vegan chocolate to ourselves. We
are sending a box of elephant-shaped chocolates to the Los Angeles City Council
members to thank them for making a compassionate decision that will inspire
cities all over the world. L.A. joins two cities in Florida and two counties in
Georgia that have
already hung out “not welcome” signs for bullhook-wielding elephant
abusers.

What You Can Do

Stay
away from animal circuses and tell friends and family why. Show them how elephants are beaten and broken by the entertainment industry, and learn how you can protest circuses when they come to town.

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Article source: PETA Files

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