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Why It's Time To End The Use Of Bullhooks Once And For All

The stuff we do to elephants is beyond imagination.

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Elephants, like basically every other creature, are terrified of pain.

Their skin appears deceptively tough, but in reality it is so delicate that an elephant can feel the pain of an insect bite. A bullhook can easily inflict pain and injury on an elephant's sensitive skin.

Trainers use the hook on soft tissue behind the ears, inside the ear or mouth, in and around the anus, and in tender spots under the chin and around the feet.

During performances, trainers with bullhooks often stand on the side as a constant reminder to the elephants of what will happen if they get out of line.

Handlers sometimes hide the bullhooks up their sleeves, or put black electric tape over the metal on their “show hooks” so the audience won't notice them.


Cities around the U.S. are starting to ban bullhooks. Just this past September, the city of Los Angeles UNANIMOUSLY voted to ban bullhooks.


The city is currently involved in a lawsuit with the UniverSoul Circus. The city has denied entry to the circus' elephants because they won't take tuberculosis tests.

The easiest way for the city of New York to get elephants out of circuses is to ban the bullhook.