Another major city council has voted to ban bullhooks. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has announced that beginning in 2018 it will stop coming to Oakland, CA after the council voted 5 – 2 on Wednesday morning to ban the sharp metal weapons that resemble fireplace pokers. Elephant trainers often sink the sharp hooks deep into elephants’ ears, mouths, and other sensitive parts where their skin is paper-thin and swing the batons like baseball bats.
Bullhooks are used to force elephants to perform dangerous, uncomfortable tricks, such as standing on their heads or on small platforms. Watch undercover video of how elephants are “trained” just moments before going on stage.
“This is the right thing to do. It’s just that simple.” — Oakland Council member and mayor-elect Libby Schaaf
“The use of a bullhook is cruel and unjust. We need only imagine being held captive and beaten for the sake of another’s entertainment to know that this tool of torture and slavery should be banned.” — AFI Lead Singer, Davey Havok
“I’m convinced we’re going to move to a time when there won’t be any elephants in circuses.” — Oakland Mayor, Jean Quan
“I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to observe elephants in their natural habitat in South Africa. The magnificent animals I encountered weren’t performing headstands or standing on tubs like they do at the circus, where they’re routinely beaten with bullhooks. Instead, they were tending to their young, running free, and living in peace. I urge the Oakland City Council to ban this weapon that causes elephants such immense suffering.” — Hip-Hop Mogul, Russell Simmons
What You Can Do
Contact us for materials for launching a campaign to get bullhooks banned in your area or for help with organizing a circus protest.
Pledge never to go to a circus that uses animals and urge your friends and family to stay away, too. Remember: every ticket purchased for the circus goes directly to support the elephants’ misery.