“When a man has pity on all living creatures, then only, is he noble.”
Buddha Siddhartha Gautama (563 – 483 BCE), Indian founder of Buddhism
Los Angeles took a step this week to potentially ban elephants at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and other traveling circus shows.
The city’s Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee on Tuesday recommended a full vote by the City Council on the proposed prohibition of traveling circus elephants and the sharp implements used to control them.
The measure, drafted by Los Angeles Animal Services, allows the council to choose between a full ban of pachyderms, a prohibition of so-called bullhooks, or both.
The 2-0 vote followed expert testimony and a video documenting brutal treatment of circus elephants.
“Frankly, it made my blood boil,” said Councilman Paul Koretz, who heads the committee, in a statement. “The video was shot undercover and it showed traveling circus elephants being struck viciously with a bullhook, over and over again, for no apparent reason.”
Animal welfare activists celebrated the decision they said could lead to the banishment of cruel elephant practices in Los Angeles. A state judge this year banned the use of billhooks at the Los Angeles Zoo.
“This is great news for elephants who are forced to perform in traveling circuses,” said Catherine Doyle, the Los Angeles-based director of science, research and advocacy for the Performing Animal Welfare Society, which has a sanctuary for former circus elephants in Northern California. “Los Angeles considers itself a progressive city, and this will take us to the next level.”
[This post was excerpted from the article LA Circus Elephant Ban: City Council Could Bar Performing Pachyderms by Dana Bartholomew of the Los Angeles Daily News and was posted on November 22, 2012. To view it in its entirety please visit this link: la-circus-elephant-ban_n_2180903.html#slide=1197882.]