Wednesday, December 10, 2:30 a.m.
TO ELEPHANT ADVOCATES EVERYWHERE
Some good news on the circus elephant front! Just got home from the Oakland City Council meeting (5:30pm – 2:30 a.m.) –an overflow crowd.
The Council last night passed an ordinance banning the use of bullhooks and similar devices on circus elephants, following the lead of Los Angeles. The final vote was 5-3. (AYES: Noel Gallo, Dan Kalb, Libby Schaaf, Pat Kernighan, Rebecca Kaplan. NOES: Larry Reid, Desley Brooks, Lynette Gibson McElhaney).
The NO votes were sympathetic to animal welfare issues, but were concerned about possible job and revenue loss, saying those issues were not properly vetted (and I agree with that assessment–they weren’t). An amendment offered by Rebecca Kaplan was accepted, which I’m not crazy about, but may have been necessary to get the ordinance passed: The ban won’t go into effect until September of 2017 (same as the Los Angeles ban). Still, this is a major step forward. (Stockton is considering a similar ordinance.)
Ideally, of course, ALL wild animal acts should be banned outright, as many countries have already done: the United Kingdom, Greece, Israel, Colombia, Mexico City and others. So who’s the REAL “Third World” here, insofar as animal welfare is concerned?
Some 180 people signed up to speak, mostly pro-ban folks, but a sizable number of union workers and caterers–also concerned about the welfare of the elephants, but more concerned about personal finances, I think. Plus a couple reps from Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey Circus with the usual denials about animal abuse, which has been repeatedly documented over the years.
Thanks to all who came and testified. Nice to win one for a change, hey? Please forward this good news accordingly.
Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS