The City Council unanimously approved a motion that aims to ban the use of bullhooks, making Los Angeles the largest City in the nation to have such an ordinance.
City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, along with animal rights advocates, led the charge Wednesday morning before a packed house inside the John Ferraro Council Chamber at City Hall.
"Los Angeles deserves to be a world-class city, yet we are lagging behind when it comes to protecting animals from inhumane treatment," said O'Farrell. "Over the last five years, the world has seen a broad movement in the banning of all exotic animals in traveling shows and circuses. It is time for us to be that progressive leader in the United States and become the largest city to at least ban the use of bullhooks to intimidate and torture elephants into submission for so called entertainment purposes."
The motion, which instructs the City Attorney to draft an ordinance, will prohibit the use of bullhooks and other implements designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling elephants.
Bullhooks are used to poke, prod or strike an elephant. Many animal rights activists say this use is inhumane and should not be used.
Both the Los Angeles and San Diego Zoos stopped using bullhooks. Earlier this week, the motion received the endorsement of the Los Angeles Times editorial board.
The motion, which had stalled after being approved in committee a year ago, was recently revived by O'Farrell, with the support of Councilmember Paul Koretz and Council President Herb Wesson.
O'Farrell posted this photo on his Instagram following the victory.