Rhode Island Becomes First State to Ban Bullhooks

New law ensures elephants will no longer be tortured with cruel tool.


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Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed a new measure into law last week that outlaws the use of bullhooks by circuses and other travelling animal shows to control elephants. This enactment makes Rhode Island the first state in the nation to ban these sharp-hooked clubs that circus trainers used to control elephants by sticking them into sensitive areas of their skin. Nearly 60 jurisdictions and major cities such as Los Angeles, Oakland, and Minneapolis have also banned bullhooks, and the California legislature is currently considering a bill that would make them the second state to do so. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus also dropped elephants from its traveling shows this past May under pressure from animal-welfare advocates.

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