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Oklahoma lawmaker wants to make it easier to torture elephants…

4:43 AM EST on February 18, 2022

With his attempt to bring a Bigfoot hunting season to Oklahoma thwarted, State Representative Justin Humphrey is now turning his legislative focus to other top priorities, like making it easier to abuse elephants.

Humphrey – a famed Derplahoman who views women as "hosts", fears vaccine nanobots and puts BLM in the same category as the KKK – is the author of House Bill 3281.

Titled the "Endangered Ark Foundation Preservation Act," it sounds pretty innocuous at an uninformed first glance, claiming it will allow elephant handlers, trainers, etc., to use "free contact" and "protected contact" to "preserve the safety, health, and well-being of elephants in Oklahoma."

But, as is usually the case with crazy legislation crafted by Derplahoman lawmakers, it appears the opposite is true.

According to the Humane Society and local animal rights activists, the law will basically let our state's elephant owners use controversial devices called "bullhooks" – which are also have charming names like "elephant goad" and "ankus" – to force and terrorize the creatures into painful submission.

Here's a snippet from an Oklahoman editorial by elephant lover Christian Keesee:

Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, has introduced House Bill 3281, which would amend the Oklahoma Animal Cruelty Statute to permit the use of antiquated, circus-style training “tools” such as the infamous bullhook. The legislation has been approved in committee and may be heard by the House of Representatives this week.

An elephant’s hide is thick in places, but paper-thin around the eyes, ears, mouth, and anus, where the bullhook’s sharp steel tip is jabbed, or swung like a bat, to terrorize elephants into submission. In short, it’s hardly akin to using a leash on a dog or a harness on a horse, as proponents would have you believe; the bullhook causes horrific puncture wounds and abscesses, and tends to leave elephants so traumatized that its mere sight is enough to terrify — or enrage — them.

I know abusing animals is a popular pastime in Oklahoma, and conservative lawmakers are always looking for ways to uphold our draconian traditions, but why is Humphreys introducing this? Here's an explanation via Fox 23 in Tulsa:

[Representative Justin Humphrey] says he authored this bill to protect a nonprofit in his district called the Endangered Ark Foundation. According to their website, they “are dedicated to ensuring the future of Asian elephants in North America, providing a retirement ranch for circus elephants, and educating the public about this endangered species.” He says he has been to their property in Hugo, and that they are looking for ways to use elephant guides with their animals.

I know nothing about the Endangered Ark Foundation, but based on what I know about roadside zoos and attractions in this state, I'm already looking forward to Netflix dropping an Elephant King documentary in 2031.

Anyway, I think it's cool that people in Oklahoma allegedly want to provide a sanctuary for intelligent animals that have been abused and mistreated for most of their lives, but can we do it without introducing new laws that make it easier for those same people to abuse those animals? I'm not a pandering Derplahoman lawmaker, but it seems like that would be pretty easy to accomplish.

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