LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday voted to ban the use of bullhooks on circus elephants.
During the meeting, which began at 10 a.m., the 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.
According to Councilmember Paul Koretz, the hook has a sharp spike attached to it that activists believe is dangerous to the animals and say there are more humane means for controlling elephants available.
“We’ve been taking care of exotic animals, including Asian elephants, for almost 144 years. We really, really are proud of the animal care we provide. Sadly, this ordinance before the City Council we feel is just being driven by a small, vocal group of animal rights activists who are against animals and entertainment whether they’re elephants or any other animal,” Stephen Payne, vice president of Field Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. Circus, told KNX1070.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is the only circus that brings elephants to the area.
“Really what this bill does is it bans the use of the guide for our circus. We’ll be unable to bring Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey back to the city of Los Angeles,” he added.