OAKLAND, California — The Oakland City Council has voted to ban bullhooks — the spike-tipped pokers used to train and control elephants.
The Oakland Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1GeX1YG ) the 5-2 vote to outlaw bullhooks beginning in 2018 prompted Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to announce it will stop coming to Oakland in four years.
The Los Angeles City Council voted in April to ban bullhooks.
The bans are major victories for animal welfare organizations, which are mounting a national campaign against the device they view as an instrument of torture.
Bullhooks are used on circus elephants from an early age. While circus officials and animal welfare advocates differ on how much physical harm the devices cause, they agree that the circus could not safely showcase elephants without bullhooks.
Information from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com
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