While my messages to you often concern the dogs and cats which the Richmond SPCA shelters each day, it is an important part of our mission that we are called to be advocates for all animals. A paper introduced in the Richmond City Council to address the treatment of elephants provides just such an opportunity, and I am writing to ask that you lend your voice to speak for these intelligent, majestic animals who are forced to perform through punishing treatment with implements of cruelty.
The paper patroned by council members Chris Hilbert, Charles Samuels and Parker Agelasto seeks to ban the use of bullhooks and similar tools designed to inflict pain as well as the brandishing or exhibiting of such implements in order to train or control the behavior of an elephant. Such actions would become a Class 2 misdemeanor effective January 1, 2017 with the passage of the ordinance.
Please join us in supporting this measure by contacting your representative on City Council to urge a vote in favor of the paper when it comes before council. I encourage you to visit this link to determine the member of council who represents you. Those who profit from the cruel treatment of animals have been very vocal since the paper was introduced last week, and we as animal advocates need to stand together to say loud and clear that there is nothing radical about opposing the use of bullhooks on elephants. These are intelligent, sensitive animals with deep family relationships. Every child and adult who loves animals recoils upon learning that elephants endure painful stabbing to force them to perform unnatural stunts.
The adoption of this ordinance will further distinguish Richmond as a leader in the humane treatment of animals, but your help is essential to ensuring that outcome.
Thank you for your love of animals and your prompt action on this crucial issue!
Robin Robertson Starr is the chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.
We also hope that you will take a moment to read Michael Paul Williams’ excellent column that appeared in today’s Times-Dispatch. In this column, Mr. Williams discusses the miserable lives to which wild animals are subjected in circuses. We agree with his well written piece and believe that the proposed ordinance that is before City Council to ban bullhooks is an important step in the right direction of a more humane circus.