Oakland is second California city, after LA, to ban tool used by circus elephant handlers

Associated Press

The circus will stop coming to Oakland in a few years after a tool used by elephant handlers was banned in the city.

The Oakland City Council earlier this week unanimously approved an ordinance outlawing bullhooks. The instrument resembles a fireplace poker, with a sharp hook on one end that is used by trainers to control the animals.

Continue Reading Below

Oakland is now the second city in California, after Los Angeles, to ban the use of a bullhooks.

Stephen Payne, a spokesman for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, says the ban takes effect in 2017. The Oakland Zoo and animal rights activists supported the ordinance.

Payne says Ringling Bros. might work with the incoming City Council to reconsider the ban. The circus will stop performing in Los Angeles in the summer of 2016.