Russell Simmons is urging the Oakland City
Council to ban the bullhook.

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | PETA, long known for connecting the entertainment world to its advocacy for better animal treatment, is upping the ante in advance of Tuesday night’s proposed ban on the bullhook before the Oakland City Council.

Hip-hop icon Russell Simmons weighed-in on Oakland’s proposed ban on the hooked and pointed tool used to control circus elephants.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to observe elephants in their natural habitat in South Africa. The magnificent animals I encountered weren’t performing headstands or standing on tubs like they do at the circus, where they’re routinely beaten with bullhooks,” Simmons said in a press release Tuesday. “Instead, they were tending to their young, running free, and living in peace. I urge the Oakland City Council to ban this weapon that causes elephants such immense suffering.”

Others like Davey Havok of the musical group AFI and a former Oakland Raider, David Carter, also offered support.

Oakland’s proposed ordinance, co-authored by Councilmembers Noel Gallo and Dan Kalb, would prohibit the use of bullhooks by circuses performing in Oakland. The parent company of Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus, however, says the ordinance effectively means their traveling company and other acts they own, such as the motor cross, monster trucks and Disney on Ice, in the future, will not come to Oakland.