Clatsop County voters approved a measure Tuesday night banning the use of bullhooks, electric prods and whips on elephants, felines or primates.

The measure was passed by 69 percent of voters with 4,931 ballots cast in favor of the ban and 2,266 opposed.

The ordinance was presented to county commissioners earlier this year, but the board chose to refer the decision to voters.

Proponents of the ban say the instruments are cruel and inhumane, and they wished to not see them used on animals performing in traveling circuses within Clatsop County.

A similar ballot measure banning the exhibition of exotic animals used in circuses was rejected by 60 percent of voters two years ago. Commissioners determined although different, the 2014 measure was similar enough that it should be referred to the electorate.

Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis spoke of how his office prosecutes animal abuse in Clatsop County during the public hearings on the ordinance. He said that if abuse occurs at circuses in the county they would investigate it under current Oregon animal abuse laws.

Gary Friedman, manager of the Clatsop County Fair and Expo, told commisisoners that few circuses have come to the county fairgrounds in the past two years. Friedman said the circuses were not highly attended either.

Violation of the ban is punishable by a fine of up to $500. The ordinance took effect immediately after being passed.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.