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LA City Council takes step towards prohibiting elephants with circuses

Posted: 21 November 2012. Updated: 21 November 2012

LA City Council Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee decided yesterday (20th November) to move forward to a vote by full Council a prohibition on the use of elephants in circuses. The move was proposed by Councilmember Paul Koretz and welcomed by Los Angeles based Animal Defenders International (ADI).

Tim Phillips, Vice President of ADI, who attended the meeting: “We hope that this move will completely eliminate elephants from circuses that visit Los Angeles. It is not just the physical abuse these animals endure but the confinement and deprivation of being forced to live in city center car lots when the circus comes to town. It is completely inappropriate to keep elephants with traveling circuses and that was acknowledged at yesterday’s meeting.”

The following options were approved for consideration by the full Council:

Option 1. The City consider adopting an ordinance prohibiting the use of elephants in traveling shows and exhibitions.

Option 3. The City consider adopting an ordinance prohibiting in any public performance related context the use of bullhooks (aka guides or ankuses), baseball bats, axe handles, pitchforks and other implements and tools designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants.

Option 4. The City consider adopting an ordinance prohibiting the use of elephants in traveling shows and exhibitions (including circuses) and, in any public performance related context, the use of bullhooks/guides, baseball bats, axe handles, pitchforks and other implements and tools designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants.

ADI presented the meeting with a petition with over 4,000 signatures calling on the City Council to ban the use of all wild animals from circuses visiting the city. LA Animal Services acknowledged that the aim should be to eliminate all wild animals in circuses but sought to address the issue of elephants as an urgent priority.

Tim Phillips: “This will need to be voted on by full Council but this is a very important step forward and we thank Councilmember Paul Koretz.”

Last year, ADI exposed California-based circus elephant supplier Have Trunk Will Travel after filming them beating and electric shocking the elephants during training.

Over 20 countries have prohibited the use of wild animals in traveling circuses and hundreds of ordinances are in place in cities around the world prohibiting wild animal acts.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Media contact:

Animal Defenders International
Mobile: 323-804-9920
mediadesk@ad-international.org

Lori De Waal & Associates Public Relations
Office: 323-462-4122
Lori.dewaal@dewaalpr.com

Animal Defenders International
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues. ad-international.org

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