The city of Los Angeles has recently decided to look into banning the use of elephants and/or bullhooks (used to control/train elephants) in travelling circuses. The hope here is that elephant cruelty will be brought to an end. The LAAS (Los Angeles Animal Services) acknowledges that the ultimate goal is to ban the use of all exotic animals in circuses, but is currently focusing their efforts on elephants.
Here is a link to a video that shows how the elephants in travelling circuses are often treated. Be warned, a few seconds are particularly upsetting. PETA asserts that the only way to get elephants to perform the tricks we see is by constant threat of violence; there is no humane way to train these animals. Further, the conditions under which these animals are kept (cramped quarters, no access to open spaces to move around/exercise) are cruel.
Many of us may have never given the plight of circus of elephants much thought, but after seeing this video and reading about the situation, perhaps we will. Circuses will have to change their practices if people refuse to pay to see shows that include elephants.
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