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Elephant abuse banned in Atlanta | News

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Elephant abuse banned in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta City Council has approved a measure that would make it illegal to use instruments to abuse elephants.

The legislation, which did not specifically name bullhooks, was approved Tuesday by a vote of 13-1. It was introduced by Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean.

"I would be happier if we moved beyond the bullhook and talk about all forms of animal abuse," Adrean said in a statement after the amendment passed. "Any instrument can be used properly or improperly."

Although Fulton County banned bullhooks in 2011, the city of Atlanta did not have any similar legislation until Tuesday.

Under Adrean's amendment, it will be illegal to abuse elephants in four key ways: depriving them of food, water and rest; using electricity to punish them; engaging in physical punishment that results in damage or scarring; and inserting any sort of instrument into an elephant's body.

The legislation also calls for independent inspectors to be present at circuses to make sure the elephants are treated properly.