Armed With Circus Bullhooks, PETA to Protest Outside Columbus City Hall

Group Calls On Mayor Coleman to Enforce Cruelty-to-Animals Laws When Ringling Bros. Comes to Town 

For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Columbus, Ohio – Holding signs that read, “Mayor Coleman: Enforce Anti-Cruelty Laws,” and holding bullhooks—weapons with a sharp metal hook on the end that are used by circuses to train and discipline elephants—a group of PETA members will gather outside Columbus City Hall on Tuesday in advance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ arrival in May.

When:   Tuesday, April 23, 12 noon

Where:  City Hall, 90 W. Broad St. (near the intersection with N. Front Street), Columbus

As PETA has pointed out in a letter to Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Ringling’s routine use of bullhooks to strike, jab, prod, and otherwise terrorize elephants clearly appears to violate an Ohio law stating that “[n]o person shall … use … electric or other prods, or similar devices” on animals being used in a circus. Handlers often embed a bullhook in the soft tissue behind the ears, inside the ear or mouth, in and around the anus, and in tender spots under the chin and around the feet. Alec Baldwin‘s video exposé reveals Ringling personnel beating elephants with bullhooks. In late 2011, Ringling paid the largest fine in circus history—$270,000—for Animal Welfare Act violations. The circus is currently under investigation for additional violations.

“As we read the Ohio law, beating animals into performing—which is exactly what Ringling does—is illegal and punishable,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “The mayor has an opportunity—and an obligation—to keep Ringling’s reign of terror over elephants out of Columbus, and he should exercise it.”

For more information, please visit PETA’s website

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 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