For Immediate Release:
December 11, 2013
The Ordinance Establishing Additional Regulations on Circuses, which was unanimously approved by the Oakland City Council last night, imposes more stringent permit requirements on circuses that use animals and establishes greater oversight of traveling animal acts. This is a good first step. The most significant part of the newly passed ordinance is the requirement that the city next consider following the lead of Los Angeles by adopting a ban on violent implements, including cruel bullhooks—sharp metal devices that resemble fireplace pokers and 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.