LA City fails to save animals from circuses, introducing a ban on bullhooks and other tools/weapons – in three years time!
On October 23, 2013, LA City failed to save animals from circuses. Instead of a ban on elephants, they decided to ban bullhooks and other tools/weapons – but in three years time!
ADI lobbied for a wild animal ban (discarded in committee), then the elephant ban, and told the Council of our concerns that banning an instrument does not address the real suffering from confinement and restriction of movement, which caused Anne the elephant so much agony. It also leaves many other animals completely unprotected.
Our other concern is enforcement – the weapons would need to be searched for (difficult if not impossible) and it doesn’t prevent other seemingly innocuous tools from being used as weapons.
Furthermore, a ban in Fulton County was circumvented when the circus arrived with the elephants again – using bamboo canes.
With three (unnecessary) years before this comes into effect, much suffering will continue – it would appear that the idea has been lifted from the wild animals bans where, quite reasonably, circus owners are given time to dispose of their animals. For example in the UK, they will have until 2015 to remove their animals. But dispensing with a bullhook is hardly the same!
The City Council also misleadingly identified their ordinance with the much stronger animal bans in Bolivia, Greece, Peru and Colombia – in case they did not notice, the difference is that animals are being taken out of the circus and actually SAVED in those countries.
Ahead of the vote, ADI urged supporters to contact Council members and urge them to support the strongest options possible. As outlined on the agenda for the Council meeting, the available options were:
- An Ordinance prohibiting the use of elephants in traveling shows and exhibitions.
- Prohibiting in any public performance-related context the use of bullhooks …and other implements and tools designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants.
- Prohibiting the use of elephants in traveling shows and exhibitions (including circuses) and, in any public performance-related context, the use of bullhooks/guides, baseball bats, axe handles, pitchforks, and other implements and tools designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants.
Thank you to everyone who took action on this issue, contacting Council members and attending the meeting.
Please be assured that we will not give up until the animals are saved from suffering.