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Bob Barker Says Elephant Abuse Should Be a Felony

Written by Michelle Kretzer | June 24, 2013

If elephants knew all that Bob Barker was doing for them, he might very well be their favorite person. Benevolent Bob’s latest effort for elephants involves pushing to get bullhooks and prolonged chaining banned in Rhode Island.


The Judiciary Committee of that state’s House of Representatives is currently considering House Bill (H.B.) 5853, which would prohibit circus trainers from using sharp bullhooks to hook, jab, and strike elephants—and from even possessing the weapons. The bill would also strictly limit the chaining of elephants, and it would make elephant abuse a felony.   

Not surprisingly, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is vehemently opposing the measure. So Bob has written to Speaker of the House Gordon Fox urging him not to listen to the circus’s PR folks and to let the bill go to a committee vote and then a vote by the entire House.

Why would the circus oppose a bill that would protect elephants from abuse? Because “The Cruelest Show on Earth” is one of the biggest offenders. Whistleblowers, arena workers, and PETA undercover investigators have repeatedly caught Ringling trainers beating elephants of all ages with bullhooks. And Ringling’s own records state that it chains elephants for up to four days straight. In 2011, Ringling paid the largest fine in circus history, $270,000, for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

The last thing that Ringling wants is a strong animal-protection law. But let’s make sure that’s exactly what it gets. Please ask every Rhode Island resident you know to join Bob and The Help star Viola Davis in politely asking Speaker Fox to allow H.B. 5853 the vote it deserves.


Commenting is closed.
  • diane says:

    please do your part
    research the horrific treatment of elephants and stand up to these in this day and age can anyone think it is ok to beat elephants into submission so that the can perform in a circus…is this what you want to teach your children?

  • Moon says:

    I just love animals! And another news… I just found out that Manila Zoo has a cute elephant named Mali, and she is the only elephant in the Philippines! She has lived there for almost all of her lives, for more than 30 years. The zoo should feel like her sweet and cozy home now. But then, I read some articles in, and I noticed that Mali is in fact sad and lonely! Look at her here: She is like a prisoner, who cannot spend her days with her friends, roam in vast territories, and have delicious adequate food! She even suffers from foot problems. Why does she deserve this? :( Please Help Her!

  • mary says:

    REMOVE ALL animals from the circus. Elephants are very social animals and family oriented. It’s time to stop this crap and have some compassion.