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Alternative Measure Doesn't Spare Elephants, Say PETA Pachyderm Experts
For Immediate Release:June 26, 2012
Atlanta -- PETA has fired off a letter to the Atlanta City Council
pointing out that a new ordinance passed on June 18 would almost require a
miracle to enforce since it demands that any particular wound, tear, or
incidence of bleeding be matched to a specific bullhook strike as seen by a
witness—an almost impossible task given that handlers commonly strike elephants
in places that hide the wounds, such as behind the ears or under the chin. Not
all beatings with a solid object will break the skin, either—although they may
cause serious injuries. When beatings do cause bleeding, circuses are ready: A
gray powder called "Wonder Dust" is used to cover up any wounds as it
blends in with elephants' skin.
Included with the letter are videotapes showing several
incidents in which elephants were beaten with bullhooks in California, which
has a law that's virtually identical to Atlanta's. In none of these instances
was the perpetrator prosecuted under the law. The group also notes another
case, witnessed by a police officer, in which a Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
Bailey Circus handler put a bullhook into an elephant's mouth and yanked with
both hands and also grabbed another elephant on the top of her ear with a
bullhook and pulled her down by yanking on the weapon with both hands.
"As long as elephant handlers with circuses are allowed
to wield bullhooks, they're going to beat elephants with those bullhooks,"
says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna
Winders. "Instead of copying California's failed elephant-protection law,
the Atlanta City Council needs to look no further than Fulton County's
ordinance, which is the only way to stop circuses from beating elephants: a
total ban on all use of bullhooks."
For more information, please visit RinglingBeatsAnimals.com.
PETA's letter to the members of the Atlanta City
June 26, 2012
The Honorable Ceasar C. MitchellAtlanta City Council President
The Honorable Atlanta City Councilmembers
Re Fundamental Enforcement Problems
With New Elephant Ordinance and the Need for a Bullhook Ban
Dear City Council President Mitchell and Councilmembers:
I am writing to urge you to support the ordinance introduced
on June 18 by councilmembers Felicia Moore and Natalyn Archibong that would ban
any use of bullhooks on elephants. While we appreciate the City Council's
intentions in passing Ordinance No. 12-O-0784, which purports to restrict
bullhook use, unfortunately this ordinance is ultimately meaningless because it
is unenforceable. As described in the attached appendix, extensive evidence,
including video footage of numerous vicious beatings, shows that bullhook abuse
and other elephant abuse has persisted in the state of California despite the
existence of a law that is virtually identical to Ordinance No. 12-O-0784. This
is the result of numerous insurmountable enforcement problems inherent in this
law, which are also detailed in the appendix. If the council truly wishes to
protect elephants in the city of Atlanta, it is crucial to pass a ban on all
Thank you for your consideration. I would be happy to
discuss this matter with you further and to provide documentation of the
incidents discussed in the appendix.
Very truly yours,
Delcianna Winders, Esq.Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement
cc: The Honorable Kasim Reed (email@example.com)
The Honrable Felicia Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Honroable Natalyn Archibong (email@example.com)
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.