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9 Secret Devices That Animal Abusers Don’t Want You to Know About

1. Restraint Chairs and Straightjackets

Silver Spring monkey_2

Restraint chairs and straightjackets are used in animal testing laboratories to keep primates still during experiments.

2. Electric Prods


Sometimes called “hot shots,” electric prods are used in rodeos, circuses, and horse racing to get animals to do what their handlers want at a particular time, such as perform a trick or buck violently.

3. Dehorning Instruments


Dehorning cows is standard practice on dairy farms. Farmers remove cows’ horns or the tissue that will turn into horns using guillotine dehorners, sharp wires, hot irons, or caustic chemicals.

4. Bucking Straps

Used in rodeos, these ropes or straps are tied around animals’ abdomens, which makes them buck to free themselves from the torment.

5. Gestation and Farrowing Crates

Mother pigs are often kept in gestation crates while they are pregnant and farrowing crates while they are nursing. The crates, where they spend almost their entire lives, are so tiny that the sows can’t even turn around.

6. Hot Blades


Chickens and turkeys on factory farms have the tips of their beaks cut off with a hot blade, which makes eating difficult and can cause lifelong discomfort and pain.

7. Bullhooks

Baby elephants being trained to sit up on a tub

Animal circuses’ weapon of choice, bullhooks have been banned in several cities in the U.S., most recently in Los Angeles and Miami Beach, Florida. Trainers use these instruments to force miserable elephants to do as their told—or else.

8. Chains

dog chained to a stake by a huge chain - snow on the ground around him

Chains are used in circuses and zoos to restrain animals and by everyday people, who often use them to tether their dogs outdoors in all weather extremes.

9. Rape Racks

Cow chained by neck

Rape racks are used to keep cows still so that they can be artificially and forcibly inseminated in order to keep their milk flowing.

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