Have you ever been to the circus? Or have seen any kind of performing elephant? If you have, then you have probably seen a bullhook as well. A bullhook is an elephant goad made out of metal that is used to train the large animals. It’s an accepted practice by countless animal trainers. What most people don’t know, though, is how barbaric the device is.

A bullhook consists of a sharp metal hook that is attached to a 2-3 foot pole.

A bullhook consists of a sharp metal hook that is attached to a 2-3 foot pole.

Trainers use it to pierce an elephant’s flesh in sensitive areas.

Trainers use it to pierce an elephant's flesh in sensitive areas.

Although elephants may seem like they have thick skin, it’s sensitive enough for them to feel the bite of an insect.

Although elephants may seem like they have thick skin, it's sensitive enough for them to feel the bite of an insect.

Trainers abuse this sensitivity to get the animals to perform for them.

Trainers abuse this sensitivity to get the animals to perform for them.

The tricks that elephants do are out of fear of pain.

The tricks that elephants do are out of fear of pain.

From a young age, elephants are trained to fear pain and the bullhook.

From a young age, elephants are trained to fear pain and the bullhook.

These Ringling Bros. trainers are breaking in a baby elephant.

These Ringling Bros. trainers are breaking in a baby elephant.

They teach them that the bullhooks are painful.

They teach them that the bullhooks are painful.

The process is heartbreaking.

The process is heartbreaking.

And archaic.

And archaic.

Cities around the US are beginning to ban bullhooks.

Cities around the US are beginning to ban bullhooks.

Los Angeles unanimously voted to ban the use of the elephant goads.

Los Angeles unanimously voted to ban the use of the elephant goads.

If bullhooks are banned, elephants won’t be forced to entertain in circuses… and that’s a good thing.

If bullhooks are banned, elephants won't be forced to entertain in circuses... and that's a good thing.

(H/T Lifestyle Hacker) “This is how we’ve always done it” is not a good enough reason to keep using bullhooks. They are archaic torture devices that are cruel. If an animal works with a human, it shouldn’t be out of fear of pain. If pain is the only way to use a certain animal in our lives, then maybe we need to rethink why we’re using the animal at all. Share this article and show others how cruel bullhooks are. This needs to be stopped.

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