According to a recent news story, three councilmen in Richmond, VA have introduced a city ordinance to ban the use of the ankus, or bullhook, for the control of elephants. A bullhook is a steel rod with a sharp hook at one end that is used to strike or prod an elephant into performing a certain behavior. In addition to the bullhook, no person can use a “baseball bat, axe, handle, pitchfork or similar instruments or a tool designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training or controlling the behavior of an elephant.” Violations would be classified as a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Ringling Bros. regularly employs bullhooks and opposes the proposed ordinance. If passed, the ban would go into effect January 2017.
Take Action: Richmond residents, contact your city council to express your support of an ordinance to ban the use of bullhooks on elephants. Richmond City Council 900 E. Broad Street, Suite 305 Richmond, Virginia 23219 804-646-2778