- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Elephant handlers in California would have to stop using tools that inflict pain on the animals to train or control them under a bill approved by state lawmakers.

People or organizations caught using or threatening to use bullhooks, baseball bats, pitchforks or other harmful devices on elephants would face fines up to $10,000. They would also lose their elephant permit.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill last year that would have criminalized the use of those instruments.

Some in the circus industry say bullhooks don’t harm the animals.

Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Alameda says the latest proposal protects elephants from tools that animal welfare groups call cruel.

The Assembly passed SB1062 Thursday on a 56-6 vote. It returns to the Senate.

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