L.A. Bans Circus Bullhooks Used to 'Abuse' Elephants

The L.A. City Council today tackled the issue that has been rocking our fine burg. What is it, you ask: Potholes? Earthquake-susceptible concrete buildings? Traffic?

See also: America's Worst Roads Are in L.A.

No. Of course not. Those issues require thought, fortitude and money. No, your political leaders took a detour to the world of circus animals and banned elephant "bullhooks." Because making moves like that are much easier than dealing with L.A.'s real problems:

That's not to say we endorse the use of bullhooks. They sound barbaric. According to the office of Councilman Paul Koretz:

Bullhooks resemble the shape of fireplace pokers and have a long handle and sharp metal hook

and spiked tip. The tool has only one purpose -- to cause pain, suffering and fear in elephants.

In 2010, a judge ordered the Los Angeles Zoo to discontinue its use of bullhooks in response to

a lawsuit filed by animal-protection groups over the zoo's elephant housing and handling ...

The move could shut circuses out of L.A., as major shows allegedly rely on the horrific devices. Animal rights groups and even Cher have lined up for the ban.

PETA today hailed the council's action to prohibit, in the words of Koretz's office, the "'bullhook' or other implements and tools designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants."

The group says the council voted to pass the measure after "only a few minutes" of watching its undercover video of circus elephants being beaten with bullhooks.

PETA Foundation director of captive animal law enforcement Delcianna Winders:

The City Council has put cruel circuses on notice that forcing elephants to perform through beatings will not be tolerated.

Now if only the council could focus on people issues.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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