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Painful Tools Used To Train Elephants Banned in Los Angeles

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In a landmark decision for wildlife, The City Council of Los Angeles finalized a bullhook ban on Wednesday.

Bullhooks are sharp and painful tools used by trainers to train elephants to perform for the public in circuses. The ban of this cruel practice essentially means the end of elephants performing in Los Angeles because the large and powerful animals cannot be trained to submit without them.

Stephen Payne, vice president of corporate communications for Feld Entertainment, the parent company for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, told the L.A. Times, “We’re not going to come to L.A. without our elephants. The Asian elephant has been a symbol of Ringling Bros. for 144 years. We cannot bring them without using USDA-approved husbandry tools.”

The ban will go into effect in the year 2017 to give circuses time to adjust.

“Circuses have been placed on notice that they’re welcome to come to town — but not at the expense of cruelty to elephants. There’s nothing stopping them from presenting the Ringling Bros. circus without elephants,” said Carney Anne Nasser, an attorney for PETA.

Well done, Los Angeles! We salute you.

Photo Credit: Flckr

VIA The Dodo

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