PETA Happy Statement: National Zoo Association Bans Bullhooks!

For Immediate Release:
August 21, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Washington – Please see the following statement from PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews regarding the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) announcement that it will phase out the use of bullhooks—weapons resembling fireplace pokers with steel hooked tips used solely to cause pain and evoke the fear of pain—to train elephants:

This decision marks a watershed moment for captive elephants and relegates zoos’ use of bullhooks—which cause fear and are already illegal in many cities and two states—to the history books. PETA has campaigned long and hard against the use of these cruel weapons and looks forward to seeing the AZA continue to make positive changes for elephants, including by opposing the importation of ones taken from their homelands and families.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive 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