Written by PETA
In light of the new policy issued by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that will minimize contact with
elephants as well as the use of bullhooks in AZA-accredited zoos, PETA is
renewing our call to the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to make
protected contact a requirement for circuses, traveling shows, and non-AZA
With protected contact, there is always a
barrier between handlers and elephants, which is not only more humane but also
much safer for both species. Bullhooks—heavy
batons with a sharp metal hook on the
end—are never used to beat elephants into compliance.
OSHA—whose mandate is
to protect workers—has acknowledged that "the issue of workers exposed to large animals
[is] a serious occupational health and safety concern," but the agency
nevertheless rejected PETA's previous call to require that captive elephants be
managed in the protected-contact system.
Even if OSHA doesn't act, the AZA's policy
an end to dangerous practices like the elephant rides at the Santa Ana Zoo, which are provided by an outfit called "Have Trunk Will Travel"
that has been caught on video beating
elephants with bullhooks. But the policy doesn't fully go into effect until
2014, and elephants can't wait. Please urge Santa Ana Zoo officials
to stop the cruel and dangerous rides without delay.
by Jennifer O'Connor
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.