For Immediate Release: May 21, 2014

(Miami Beach, FL) – Wednesday afternoon, May 21, the City of Miami Beach approved a ban on the use of bullhooks*, electric prods, bucking straps and other cruel devices. The ordinance also prohibits the constant chaining of elephants.

With the vote, Miami Beach joined compassionate cities like Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Margate, Pompano Beach and Weston and will no longer tolerate the abuse of elephants, tigers and other captive circus animals by the use of devices that cause pain and suffering.

While Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes and Weston have completely banned live animal displays, Hallandale Beach, Margate, Pompano Beach — and now the City of Miami Beach — have banned the use of bullhooks or similar devices that circus trainers commonly use against their unwilling performers.

“It is wrong to use pain and the fear of punishment to control elephants,” said ARFF Communications Director Don Anthony. “Fortunately, an increasing number of zoos, scientists, trainers and animal welfare organizations condemn use of the bullhook in favor of safer and more humane elephant handling methods that rely on positive reinforcement only.”

*A bullhook is a weapon, resembling a fireplace poker, which is used to strike, hook, prod and intimidate elephants into obedience. Elephants are controlled through pain and the fear of punishment.

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