Animal-Rights Activists and Commissioners Win One for the Circus Elephants in Margate

Categories: Animal Planet
funny_elephant_photoshop.jpg
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There was a bit of dissent from some Margate residents, but the city's commissioners followed through on a promise to animal-rights activists to ban devices used to mistreat circus animals.

The intent of the activists was to prevent the Cole Bros. Circus from coming to town, but they seem pretty pleased the city is banning instruments like bull hooks and electric prods that harm the animals.

The activists' complaints were pretty legitimate, although the thought that the ordinance would keep the circus from coming to town wasn't sitting well with everyone.

The proposed ordinance was openly opposed by only one member of the public, who referenced some articles written by a small online publication in Margate that's essentially just been taking a crap on the animal-lovers (see "Circus Protestors Terrorize Margate Families").

On the other hand, Commissioner Le Peerman noted that no one actually came out against the ordinance as it was written.

"I put out there -- in the papers, in the blogs, and everywhere else -- if someone can give me a good reason that anyone in the City of Margate needs to use these bull hooks, these electric prods, I would be happy to listen to them," she said. "I have not had one single phone call from anyone saying we have a need for it in the city. This has nothing to do with banning the circus -- it has to do with banning certain utensils that, obviously, there's no need for in the city, because nobody's bothered to call and stick up for those particular... items that we have on this list."

Aside from the typical definition of animal abuse, the ordinance goes on to ban "electric prods or shocking devices; shocking spurs or rowels; flank or bucking straps or similar devices; wire tie-downs; chains used as tie-downs; whips or bull-whips (excluding riding crops); ankuses or bull-hooks, or similar devices."

The commissioners approved the ordinance unanimously, although Commissioner Joseph Varsallone raised concerns that one of those instruments might be necessary in an emergency animal-escape scenario.

The Cole Bros. Circus just recently rolled through Margate, so we may have to wait awhile to see what kind of effect the ordinance has.


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19 comments
Danielle Russell
Danielle Russell

Animals should be let free and enjoy their lives in the wild. Circus and other similar shows must be stopped. Animals are being exploited and that is not good.

Staci-lee
Staci-lee

Fantastic news and finally a step in the right direction. Margate has shown not only compassion but intelligence as this vote has demonstrated they get what activists have been saying for decades. Let's hope this is a first step ofmany with other cities following their lead

FQS9000
FQS9000

Bill hooks should be permitted to be used on animal rights people.

Marc
Marc

Do elephants ride skateboards?

Beverly
Beverly

I have always said, animals do not belong in a circus!!! They are taken away from their natural habitat and for what, profits!!! Horrible!!!! They are taken most likely with their families and put into circuses and they tormented, beaten and yelled at! Then they are put into a big arena to be watched. To me its barbaric and more then abusive!!!!!!! I wish all circuses would just stop with the animals.

Laurella Desborough
Laurella Desborough

Just wondering...how are the elephant workers going to "talk" to the elephants?Generally, that is what the  bull hooks are for...to tap the elephant so as to indicate what is expected...turn here, step there, etc. In a noisy crowd, an elephant cannot here vocal commands...so how are the trainers going to "speak" to the elephants? Bull hooks are the traditional tools for communicating with elephants. While some may be used abusively, that does not mean that all are used in that way. Elephants are powerful animals with a good memory. I imagine an abusive trainer better be watching his back...or he may end up flattened.

ZangKoo2
ZangKoo2

Now that is one really cool elephant, for sure man.www.Total-Privacy dot US

Mari
Mari

Thanks to all the commisioners and especially to all you animal lovers out there that will not stand to see animals being abused :)

Mike C
Mike C

Thanks Margate! I am a former elephant keeper at a very good zoo that spoke out against the circus for decades, and if the general public knew how bad circus elephants are treated, they would applaud this action. Bravo!!!

Ana Campos
Ana Campos

I am also very proud to have met Margate Mayor Donovan and the Commissioners, along with many concerned, animal loving citizens. They should be commended and will be thanked for their compassionate, empathic decision-making to save the lives of animals and prevent continued abuse! Goodbye Cole Bros. Circus . You lose.The animals win. 

I've been to some of the animal free circuses below and they are amazing. They are also much safer for the community, educational, fun and great money-makers. 

From the ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/fight-ani... 

From Born Free USA: http://www.bornfreeusa.org/fac...

Animals do not belong in a parking lot and in a tent. Nor do they deserve to be beaten with sharp hooks and have electric prods used on them. There are many fantastic circuses that do not use animals.. The bottom line is there are many alternatives to using animals and a bull hook in a circus. Here is a list of circuses that have not committed felonies and are not under probation by the USDA like Cole Bros and do not use the bull hook because they do not use and beat animals into submission. I saw many Cole Bros "free" tickets in local businesses. I personally think it's odd that a legitimate, thriving organization should give free tickets away. They aren't doing that well.Thank you Mayor Donovan, Commissioners, and all concerned citizens and residents..

Diane
Diane

Matt, you stated that the "intent of the activists was to prevent the Cole Brothers Circus from coming to town..." My intent was to see that the city of Margate is not allowing animal abusers to enter the city year after year and profit off of it. I am all about funding for the city but not an the animals' expense. There are plenty of other events such as the carnival that was there last week, that bring revenue to the city. I have seen many circuses come to that plot, set up camp for a week or two, and make thousands of dollars, only to roll onto the next city. Meanwhile, those animals are chained up in between shows and shocked or beaten during each performance. I do not see how anyone, commissioners or residents, would not want for those weapons not to be banned in the city! I am proud of Margate's decision and they have set an example for many others to come! 

Ana Campos
Ana Campos

Great. Would you be willing to be the first experiment?

Gaelrmurphy
Gaelrmurphy

Yes, Mark.  Elephants ride skateboards, dance, and stand on their hind legs  --after you beat them, stab them, starve them, and electrocute them.  Elephants in their natural home environment just walk, run a little, and swim a little.  Whenever you see a performing animal do something unnatural and strange, he has been viciously abused to force him to.

Gaelrmurphy
Gaelrmurphy

"Talk to the elephants"? I'd laugh if I weren't crying.  A bull-hook is a torture/punishment device.  It has a knife sharp blade on the side and a sharp metal point at the end.  I have seen, with my own eyes, elephants being stabbed with these tools.  Circuses employ people to apply a grey cosmetic to cover up the open wounds from these "communication devices".  The scars are always evident.  Why don't you take a look? Thank you Margate Commissioners and Mayor!

Ana Campos
Ana Campos

To begin with, these trainers don't 'talk', they hit. And when trainers do speak, it's vicious.

Here's one of the videos that everyone should watch. Animals in Circuses are abused, beaten with sharp bullhooks and electrocuted to 'train' them to do ballet for an audience.http://www.myspace.com/video/v... 

The ultimate goal is to have animal-free circuses. As long as there is no ban on these torture devices, the circus will enter a town. Cole Bros is currently under probation after being found guilty of breaking the law. They would best be served by following the law and considering going animal-free. 

Diane
Diane

correction: "would not want for those weapons to BE banned" (I caught that double neg after posting...:)

Ana Campos
Ana Campos

He knows. :)

His comment is about the skateboarding elephant photo chosen in this article about banning unnatural acts.

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