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June 1, 2011 / V A Nichols

BREAKING NEWS: Fulton County GA bans using bullhooks on circus elephants

Fulton bans using bullhooks on circus elephants

By Johnny Edwards

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

1:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In a victory for animal rights activists, the Fulton County Commission voted 4-1 Wednesday to ban the use of bullhooks by circus elephant trainers.

The ordinance only covers unincorporated south Fulton. While it would apply to small circuses that set up in parking lots, it will not affect Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ major shows at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

The coalition of animal rights groups that turned out at Wednesday’s commission meeting said they’ll be taking their cause to Atlanta and Gwinnett and DeKalb counties.

“This is a beginning,” said Julie Robertson, a board member of Georgia Animal Rights and Protection. “You have to start somewhere. You have to lead the way.”

Bullhooks are sharp-tipped instruments resembling fire pokers, which the activists contended are used to poke, prod and beat elephants bloody.

Circus representatives characterized them as “guides” and “elephant husbandry tools.”

“Without this tool, you cannot have elephants at the circus. Period,” said Thomas Albert, vice president of government relations for Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Brothers.

Commissioner Liz Hausmann voted against the ban and Chairman John Eaves and Commissioner Tom Lowe were absent.

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One Comment

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  1. a / Aug 15 2012 1:48 PM

    That is much too cruel….beating a poor animal with a sharp stick is in no way exceptable, and they did right in banding it.

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