Oakland Tightens Its Grip on Circuses

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

It’s unanimous. Oakland has had it with circuses clowning around with animals’ health and welfare. Last night, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved the Ordinance Establishing Additional Regulations on Circuses. This ordinance gives the city greater oversight of traveling animal acts and tightens the requirements for a circus to get a permit to perform.

Asian Baby ElephantFreeImages.com/Andreas Krappweis

This is an important step in the right direction, especially because the ordinance also requires that the city next consider following the lead of Los Angeles by adopting a ban on violent control devices, including sharp fireplace poker–like bullhooks that are used to strike, jab, and beat elephants on the most sensitive parts of their bodies.

Banning bullhooks, as the Oakland Zoo did decades ago, is the only way to ensure that elephants are not subjected to cruel physical punishment in traveling acts. And of course, the only way to ensure that animals don’t suffer any of the physical and mental detriments of captivity is to ban the use of animals by circuses altogether and retire the animals to sanctuaries.

Kudos to Oakland, and we look forward to seeing the city’s next move.

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind