Bob Barker is known for being a friend to animals and educating others that, when it comes to animal abuse, the price is wrong. Now, Barker is pleading for elephant protection in the state of Rhode Island.
House Bill (H.B.) 5853 is coming to RI’s House of Representatives. The bill would prohibit circus trainers from using cruel bullhooks to hook, jab, or strike elephants, and from even having bullhooks in their possession. The bill also puts a strict limit on chaining elephants, and would ultimately make elephant abuse a felony.
No shock that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus are vehemently opposed to the bill, which would mean they would have to make some big changes in their business model that is based on animal abuse. (There’s a reason the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have coined their’s the “Cruelest Show on Earth.”) Ringling has a long record of abusing animals and have been caught red-handed many times by arena workers and undercover investigators. In 2011, Ringling paid a disturbingly high fee in Animal Welfare Act violations – $270,000! – the largest fine in circus history.
Clearly, changes need to be made. Bob Barker personally wrote a letter to Speaker of the House Gordon Fox, asking him to let the bill go to a committee vote and then a vote by the entire House. In part of Barker’s impassioned letter, he writes, “Nothing—and certainly not a few minutes of entertainment—justifies abusing these extremely sensitive, intelligent, and majestic animals with painful bullhooks, which leave puncture wounds and scarring… It’s time we stop tolerating such abysmally cruel practices in the circus.”
Here’s hoping that the House of Representatives will vote in favor of the innocent pachyderms.
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