- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island has become the first state to ban the use of bullhooks to train elephants.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed legislation Wednesday passed by the General Assembly that bans the hooks in circuses and traveling shows.

Dozens of cities have banned the use of bullhooks, but the Humane Society of the United States says Rhode Island is the first state to do so.

Animal welfare advocates have pushed such measures, saying the hooks can cause trauma and injury to elephants.

Circuses including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus have stopped using elephants in their shows. But several other circuses still use them.

The measure takes effect in January.

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