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Rhode Island Says Leave Bullhooks at the State Line

Written by Jennifer O'Connor | June 13, 2014

The Rhode Island House of Representatives has passed a resolution urging circuses and other traveling animal shows to eliminate the use of bullhooks and other “harmful training practices” that cause elephants pain. Even though the resolution is nonbinding—and we fought for an outright ban—this is certainly a first step in that direction.

Rhode Island is the first state in the United States to adopt such a resolution. Representatives also expressed concern about how captive elephants are treated in circuses and recognized that elephants are highly intelligent and family-oriented animals who have memories that span many years.

What You Can Do

To launch a campaign to get bullhooks banned in your county or city, contact us for free materials on how to get started.

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  • Margo Britsch says:

    I am happy that we are moving in the right direction, but a video like the one above makes me so sad. I am still in amazment that people can’t see animals for living, breathing creatures that feel pain and everything that humans feels, especially elephants. Let’s help ban bullhooks for good, or even better…can we ban wild, beautiful animals from being in ANY circus!

  • Marisa Besteiro says:

    Elephants belong in the wild and absolutely nowhere else. Learn to entertain yourself and not do do at another creatures torturous expense.

  • David says:

    i will certainly promote people not to go anywhere near an animal circus

  • Hilda Geddes Higney says:

    WHY are these bullhooks STILL, legal, to use especially used on elephants, The so called trainers (, sadism, they r all evil and love the feeling it gives them to torture these animals) most of these type of low life always wanted to be the big guy among others but couldn’t get their way with it cause they were an still are idiots.. Why is this horrific torturing on animals still going on, BIG TIME, Certainly makes our (Canada, USA India and where ever in this World look very Weak! Called Greed?

  • goodlady says:

    I’m disappointed that they did not ban bullhooks but glad they took this small step. Change for the better comes way to slowly, but it is going to happen. Some day I firmly believe circuses will drop all their wild animal acts.

  • M. Fraziel says:

    *WE* are the ones who pay to get in.
    If no one pays to see the shows, circuses…will…STOP.
    Use the “voting power” of your wallets, or be complicit in the abuse and mistreatment of these non-human beings by *not* choosing to raise your voices (and take action!).

  • Jim Bastian says:

    I am ashamed of Rhode Island tonight. The legislature passed a non-binding resolution against bullhooks, but – because of wanting the income from circuses – wouldn’t pass a law to criminlaize the use of the bullhook. THis is simply duplicitous, hypocritical, and evil… is sanctioning cruelty as long as there is an income associated with it. Eventhough the legislature knows the practice is cruel, as shown in the non binding resolution, they will still not go so far as to criminlaize the behavior!! These are the kinds of two-faced legislative practices that make AMericans hate their politicians. Again, I couldn’t be more ashamed to be a RHode Islander tonight.

    • Hilda says:

      I agree 100%+, with you Jim and also that PETA is a Wonderful Organization, that has helped, Thousands of Animals . I feel the same way for Canada, as this is where I live! Very Shameful for these 2 supposedly great Countries!!!! These low life so called trainers of animals, in Circuses and where ever ,almost all of them are sadism’s. Probably could not hold a job else where and Animals have no where to turn to, while being tortured, as we know, Animals cannot talk, or run for help!, Best Regards

  • shawn crawford says:

    Not good enough….its the money card and they should be ashamed of themselves….it’s a no-brainer.

  • Nicole says:

    Yes, it is somewhat good that the RI legislature passed a resolution. But since it is nonbinding, it will be ignored by the entertainment industry. Money, and brining money into Providence and the Dunkin Donuts Center by way of the circus, is reason the bill ultimately did not pass. It think that is shameful. The treatment of the elephants has still been put aside for profit. And, children that attend the circus will be taught the message that animals are here for our entertainment, as props.

  • june613C says:

    Kudos to Rhode Island for doing the right thing.

  • Laura says:

    This makes me sick to my stomach. Why can’t people realize taking children to a Circus
    is causing this cruelty. Have some compassion,parents, be responsible and teach your
    children to treat animals with dignity and respect. No more Circus. Ever!