Richmond, VA, Passes Law To Ban Bull Hooks Used on Circus Elephants

pawsupPaws Up!

To the City of Richmond, VA, for passing a ban on bull hooks.

According to a recent news article, the city of Richmond, VA, has passed a ban to effectively outlaw the use of bull hooks, Asian Elephantcommonly used on elephants performing with traveling circuses. Elephants have established a remarkable capacity for social bonds, altruism and intelligence. Asian elephants, commonly used to entertain circus crowds, are an endangered species. Like all animals, elephants have the capacity to experience pain and fear. The NHES feels strongly that that these rare and magnificent creatures should not be prodded with weaponry to amuse crowds. We applaud the City of Richmond, VA, for passing this important measure.

Take action. Citizens of Richmond, VA, write to your city council members and thank them for banning the bull hook.

Richmond City Council
900 E. Broad Street, Suite 305
Richmond, Virginia 23219

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Feld Entertainment Plans to Phase Out Ringling Bros. Elephants

Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus will no longer use elephants in performances after 2018.

Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus will no longer use elephants in performances after 2018.

According to a recent article, Feld Entertainment has decided to phase out the use of elephants in performances by their famous subsidiary, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. For decades, Ringling Bros. has reaped a profit by carting Asian elephants across the United States to perform tricks for paying crowds. Over time, animal welfare advocates and ordinary citizens alike have harbored growing doubts about the quality of life for the majestic, intelligent, and social wild animals used by the circus – leading many to forego the circus altogether. In recent years, the public has also become more aware of Ringling Bros’. use of the bullhook, a weapon-like metal rod equipped with a curved hook at one end designed specifically for use on elephants. Described as a “training tool” by Ringling Bros., the bullhook is used to strike and prod elephants into submission. Many audiences do not consider these practices consistent with the circus’ claim to be “fun for the whole family,” and over the years, many families, venues, and entire cities have turned away from the circus. In response to increasing public awareness, Feld Entertainment has finally made the decision to phase out elephant performers over the next three years. However, Ringling Bros. has not announced plans to retire the company’s tigers, lions, or other exotic animals.

Take Action: Make the commitment to only patronize human-centered entertainment acts. Contact Feld Entertainment to express your support of their decision to retire the company’s performing elephants and urge them to grant similar relief to Ringling Bros.’s other animal performers.

Feld Entertainment Worldwide Headquarters
2001 US Highway 301
Palmetto, FL 34221
(941) 721-1200

Bullhooks Banned in Oakland

pawsupPaws Up! To the city of Oakland, California, for banning the use of bull hooks on elephants.

Bullhooks are often used to force wild animals such as elephants into performing unnatural tricks.

Bullhooks are often used to force wild animals such as elephants into performing unnatural tricks.

According to a recent news story, the Oakland City Council in California has banned the use of bullhooks on elephants. A bullhook, or ankus, is a steel rod with a hook at one end used to control elephants for circus performances. The hooks are designed to stab and pull elephants. The ban was passed even though representatives from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus previously threatened to skip Oakland during their U.S. tour if the ordinance was adopted. Los Angeles recently adopted a similar ban and other cities such as Richmond, Virginia, are considering banning the use of bull hooks on elephants. Take Action: Citizens of Oakland, California, contact the council member in your district to convey your support of the new law banning the use of bullhooks on elephants.

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Richmond, VA May Soon Outlaw Use of Bullhooks on Elephants

Paws Up! pawsup To the city of Richmond, VA for considering a new ordinance that would outlaw the use of bullhooks on elephants.

Bullhooks are commonly used by circus employees to prod, strike, or jab elephants.

Bullhooks are commonly used by circus employees to prod, strike, or jab elephants.

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

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When you think about it…elephants belong in the wild, not the streets of St. Louis.

Elephants deserve a long life in the wild.

Elephants deserve a long life in the wild.

Why are elephants wandering a parking  lot in St. Louis? Why are elephants in St. Louis, period? Their natural habitat is far from an urban setting. Yet, we find elephants, lions, tigers, and other wild and exotic animals performing in circuses in a variety of cities starting now and going through the late fall.

Circus animals  do not have a good life. They may travel many miles in railcars that can become overheated in the summer. They are kept caged or shackled unless they are performing or are being trained to perform. They are separated from members of their own families and often members of their own species. They are living in climates that do not even closely replicate their natural one. Basically, they are slaves to their trainers and owners who want nothing more than to make a buck off their backs. But these are living, breathing, sentient beings with minds of their own and sometimes they object and find a way to escape.

In the case of the St. Louis elephants, they were quickly corralled and were not made to perform the Saturday show. They should get every show off as should all wild and exotic animals who find themselves in the circus. For when you think about it…elephants belong in the wild, not the streets of St. Louis or any other city.

 

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Elephants Safe in LA

PawsUp

064

The use of bullhooks on circus elephants is now prohibited in the city of Los Angeles.

Paws Up!
To the Los Angeles City Council for banning the use of bullhooks on circus elephants.

The Los Angeles City Council “voted unanimously to prohibit the use of ankus or bullhooks, which is a tool used by animal trainers at circuses to keep large elephants in line, starting in 2017.”

Bullhooks are inhumane tools of the circus trade and need to be outlawed across the country. But bullhooks are really only one part of the problem. Circuses in general are abusive to animals. Learn more about the degradation animals experience in circuses and roadside shows.

Take Action: California residents, thank the leaders in Los Angeles for taking a stand to protect elephants in circuses. If you live outside LA, let your council members know you want them to follow Los Angeles’s lead. And never, never support a circus that promotes animal shows.

Herb Wesson, President
Mitchell Englander, President Pro Tempore
Los Angeles City Council
City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Amtrak, Stop Selling Circus Tickets

Circuses should not support the use of wild animals during performances, and instead promote those produced only by humans.

Circuses should highlight the amazing things human bodies are capable of doing, not exploit animals.

Amtrak has been selling discounted tickets to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s shows in California this summer. Circuses that showcase wild animals often engage in abusive methods of training and confinement of them. There is nothing spectacular under the big top when wild animals are the main attraction.

Tell Amtrak you disagree with their offering discounted tickets to circuses that feature wild animals. Suggest instead the corporation focus on circuses that celebrate the human’s ability to produce death-defying acts rather than on circuses that bring death and destruction to wild animals.

Joseph H. Boardman, CEO
Amtrak Corporate Headquarters
4300 Garden City Dr.
Washington, DC 20005

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