If all goes well California will become the 2nd state (behind Rhode Island ) to pass an “elephant protection bill”.
Let it be known that (Senate Bill) SB 1062** will “explicitly prohibit the use of a ‘bullhook, ankus, guide or pitchfork, including the use of those devices without making contact’ “ thereby abolishing this archaic tool as a means of inflicting pain upon, or even as an intimidation device (technique) in the presence of, our elephants.
**Thanks to the efforts of Senator Ricardo Lara, who introduced this legislation in February of 2016, all captive and performing elephants in California will be further protected from abuse once Governor Jerry Brown approves the measure.
So, it should come as no surprise, then, that several owners of California-based “rent an elephant” businesses (& this would include those “circus or traveling shows” conducting business in California) have campaigned vehemently against SB 1062. And it has all been in the guise of helping elephants, of course.
They want us all to believe that the bullhook*** is only a passive instrument, recognizing them not for what they are (weapons used to inflict pain) but as an innocent, innocuous “elephant guide”. (Google “Help Stomp Out SB 1062”. This website features videos by “Have Trunk Will Travel” so one can only assume they are sponsoring it in some way.)
***See what PAWS has to say about bullhooks:”SB 1062 Passes Senate and Assembly!“
Have Trunk Will Travel (see ‘ Water For Elephants ’ Film Elephant Suffered From Bullhook Prods… here) has become a major player in the “rent an elephant” business in California. They could even have played a part in providing the elephant on a recent episode of the Mike Judd comedy “Silicon Valley”. Never mind what it took to make that elephant just another sitcom “prop”. Never mind the hours of abuse that elephant had to endure to get the perfect angle for the cameras, to get that television scene just right. Never mind that an elephant just wants to be an elephant, not an actor or performer or movie star.
And yet, even in 2016, the lives of these captive performing elephants are portrayed by the media in an exemplary light. The seamier side (the cruel methods elephant trainers use to keep their 9000 lb charges in line) of those “rent an elephant” businesses and those circuses & traveling elephant shows remain hidden, away from the cameras or the public eye.
Other “rent an elephant” businesses are so clandestine, in fact, that they are forced into a kind of underground existence (ElephantParties can now only be contacted “offline” writes Zara Stone, a Forbes contributor in “How to Rent an Elephant in Silicon Valley”.)
We are now awaiting his decision. But, hopefully soon, with the stroke of his pen, California Governor Jerry Brown will put an end to the abuse of captive and performing elephants by approving SB 1062, the “elephant bullhook ban”. (The bill has already passed both the senate and the Assembly.)
It remains to be seen just how much of an effect this action (approving the “elephant bullhook ban”) will have on such elephant centric businesses (may they all be shuttered).
But one thing is certain. It can only be a win win situation for our elephants in “the Golden State”.
Images: (featured) PAWS “Ban the Bullhook SB 1062”; all others Creative Commons : Elephant Goad / Ankus, several types of bullhooks, Elephant activist bullhooks, elephant & man with bullhook
Support PAWS elephants in California donate here
Senator Ricardo Lara: Elephant Spoken Here commends you for your compassion toward elephants and your commitment to helping elephants in California. Elephants never forget.
CA Senator Ricardo Lara press release
Watch YouTube video from PAWSWEB “Bullhook: California Senate Passes SB 1062, Elephant Bullhook Ban”
humane society press release
Watch video clip Silicon Valley episode Season 3 episode 9 Consider the elephant”