Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI welcomes a bill to outlaw the inhumane treatment of elephants

Posted: 18 March 2009

A bill has been passed in the state of Connecticut to outlaw the use of elephant hooks and electric shock devices on elephants in circuses and traveling shows.

The move comes as the trial of Ringling Brothers Circus over allegations of elephant abuse nears its conclusion, and a media storm surrounds the resurgence of using performing elephants in circuses in the UK.

Under the new legislation, anyone who works with circus elephants would also be guilty of a criminal offence if found to possess an electric shock device or elephant hook.

Animal Defenders International found a catalogue of elephant abuse in the U.S during investigations for the international “Stop Circus Suffering” campaign.
Among the physical abuse was the universal use of elephant hooks to control and punish elephants, electric shocks given during training sessions and as elephants walked to the big top, bare chains used on elephants’ legs, and elephants being beaten and kicked.

Bill HB 6555 (“An act concerning the humane treatment of elephants”), was debated and passed by the Joint Environment Committee of Connecticut’s General Assembly. It was introduced by Representative Diana Urban (Dem) with the purpose of prohibiting the inhumane treatment of elephants.

The bill has now been referred to the Judiciary Committee, and will take effect in October.


For further information, contact ADI Public Relations Officer, Ally MacDonald
Office Tel: 020 7630 3344.
Email: email:

Click to read the Executive Summary of “Animals in Traveling Circuses: The Science on Suffering U.S”

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