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California Could Be First State To Ban Using Bullhooks On Elephants

SACRAMENTO (AP)— California would be the first state to ban using bullhooks to guide and discipline elephants, under a bill moving through the Legislature.

Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat from Bell Gardens, says the hooks are cruel to the animals and dangerous to their handlers if the elephant rebels.

The bill was sought by the Humane Society of the United States and the Performing Animal Welfare Society. The groups say no accredited sanctuary or California zoo uses the devices.

Sen. Jeff Stone, a Republican from Temecula, and the only one who spoke in opposition, says the hook shaped like a fireplace poker has been used for centuries to safely guide elephants and is not torturous.

SB716 passed the Senate on Friday on a 29-7 vote, and now goes to the Assembly.

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