state senate

state senate

Bullhook: California Senate Passes SB 1062, Elephant Bullhook Ban

1d ago
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California Bill to Ban Elephant Bullhooks Clears Senate With 29-9 Vote! We're happy to report that on April 18, the California state Senate passed SB 1062, the bill introduced by state senator Ricardo Lara that would ban the use of cruel bullhooks on elephants. The bill now moves to the Assembly where it must clear assigned committees before going to the floor for a vote. Should the bill be passed in the Assembly, it would then go to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Our supporters will recall that PAWS, working together with The Humane Society of the U.S. and the Oakland Zoo, passed a bullhook bill in California last year. Unfortunately, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the bill because it called for criminal penalties. This new bill is a non-criminal version of last year's bill, which we hope to again pass and send to the Governor's desk. PAWS has worked with elephants for more than 30 years, and even though we care for bulls and highly dangerous elephants, we do not use a bullhook. No AZA-accredited zoo in California uses this cruel and archaic weapon. The bullhook resembles a fireplace poker, with a sharpened steel tip and hook at the end. It is used to dominate and control elephants through pain and fear. Handlers forcefully jab, hook and strike elephants on sensitive parts of their bodies during training, performances and routine handling - and sometimes for no reason other than to re-establish their dominance. Even when not in use, the bullhook is a constant reminder of the painful punishment that can be delivered at any time. Today, there is a safer and more humane way of managing elephants that uses positive reinforcement training, food treats and gentle words of encouragement. With this method, keepers provide excellent husbandry and veterinary care without the use of intimidation and painful punishment. The cities of Los Angeles and Oakland prohibit use of the bullhook, and San Francisco has prohibited the use of all performing wild animals. If you live in California and want to help make our state the first in the nation to ban the bullhook, please sign up for our mailing list and stay tuned for PAWS alerts containing information on contacting your elected officials, urging them to support SB 1062. If you don't live in California but know friends and family who do, please alert them to SB 1062. Or consider working to pass a ban on bullhooks in your area. Senator Lara's press release on SB 1062: http://goo.gl/AW7rwf Supporters of SB 1062: http://www.pawsweb.org/documents/Factsheet_SB1062.pdf FAQs: http://www.pawsweb.org/documents/FAQs_events_SB1062.pdf