Elephant Abuse Crisis In WV

I was somewhat bemused to see that Del. Barbara hatfield (D) of WV’s state legislature has proposed the following bill (WV HB 2061):

That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-8-24, to read as follows:


§61-8-24. Abusive behavior towards elephants by owner or manager prohibited; penalty.

(a) An owner or manager of an elephant may not engage in abusive behavior towards the elephant. Abusive behavior towards an elephant, includes, but is not limited to, the discipline of an elephant by any of the following methods:
(1) Deprivation of food, water or rest;
(2) Use of electricity;
(3) Physical punishment resulting in damage, scarring or breakage of skin;
(4) Insertion of any instrument into any bodily orifice;
(5) Use of martingales; and
(6) Use of block and tackle.
(b) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $5,000.00 nor more than $20,000.00 or confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and confined.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make it a misdemeanor for an owner or manager of an elephant to engage in abusive behavior towards the elephant.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for legislation to prohibit animal abuse. But… elephants? In WV? I wasn’t even aware that there were any. Let alone that people inserting inappropriate items or body parts into an elephant’s bodily orifices is such a prevalent problem that it warrants taking up the legislature’s time.

You live and learn I guess.

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