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Thursday, December 6, 2012


Editorial: A big gray area -- L.A. City Council can protect circus animals without banning elephants
Los Angeles News Groupdailynews.com
December 6, 2012
The goings-on at Los Angeles City Hall often resemble a three-ring circus, but that doesn't mean the City Council should get too involved with the real thing. A proposed ban on circus elephants -- and, effectively, a ban on circuses with animals -- in the city is going too far.
The public should be allowed to decide whether to allow circuses with performing animals to set up in city limits by voting with its feet. That's not to say the city can't regulate abuse of animals under the big top. The council can send a clear message that animal cruelty is not acceptable by making it illegal for circus trainers to prod pachyderms with metal-tipped bullhooks.
The barbaric act of using bullhooks to control elephants is already barred at the Los Angeles Zoo, so it only makes sense to broaden the law and apply it to circuses traveling into a city renowned for entertainment.
Banning bullhooks is one of the options that Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz is proposing in a draft ordinance. The other is a broad prohibition on the use of elephants in travling shows and exhibitions. This well-intentioned ordinance, which will soon come up for review by council, is aimed at preventing abuse of circus elephants and other exotic animals.
Banning circus elephants from performing in Los Angeles would likely lead to the -- perhaps intentional -- removal of all circus animals from the city. While some people believe circuses are distasteful in concept, that they are
archaic and not nearly as spectacular as they once were, the shows continue to draw audiences. Thus the public should be the ones to decide whether they want to be amused by cheap animal tricks, or skip the show based on moral grounds.
read more:
http://www.presstelegram.com/opinions/ci_22132965/editorial-big-gray-area-l-city-council-can


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