Animal Rights

LA Bans Use of Bullhooks on Elephants

Will ultimately probably end up eliminating circus shows involving them within the city


The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously passed an ordinance banning the use of bullhooks on circus elephants.

The sharp-ended tool used to train and control elephants will be illegal for handlers within city limits after a 3-year phase-in period.

"(Elephants) are trained and guided with bullhooks, which are used to inflict pain upon them and sometimes cut them when they're hit," said Councilman Paul Koretz. "We really want to change that. We think it's a very cruel practice."

The ban on bullhooks, however, effectively means that many circuses, traveling shows and other events that feature elephants will not be able to perform anywhere in the city, because the device is commonly used among handlers.