SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) – California’s Legislature has passed a measure targeting elephant handlers who use tools that inflict pain to train or control the animals.
Under the bill, individuals, zoos, circuses or other organizations caught using bullhooks, baseball bats, pitchforks or other harmful devices would be subject to fines up to $10,000. They could also lose their elephant permit.
The Senate approved SB1062 Thursday 26-10, sending it to the governor.
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill last year that would have criminalized the use of such tools. Rhode Island became the first state to ban use of bullhooks last month.
Animal welfare groups say the tools are inhumane. Some bill opponents say the tools can facilitate veterinary care and research when used properly.
If Brown approves it, the measure would take effect in 2018.
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