05/03/2012 10:56 EDT | Updated 07/03/2012 05:12 EDT

Activists urge Ontario to adopt bill to better protect elephants from abuse

TORONTO - Animal activists are urging the Ontario government to pass legislation that would help stop the abuse of elephants.

If passed, a private member's bill would amend provincial law to prohibit the use of bullhooks and electric prods on elephants.

It would also restrict the amount of time elephants can be chained without being able to move freely.

Julie Woodyer of Zoocheck Canada says the measures are necessary to protect elephant welfare and public safety.

The bill that was introduced by Toronto-area Liberal Lorenzo Berardinetti is expected to have second reading in the legislation today.

Private member's bills rarely become law unless the government throws its support behind it — and in a minority parliament, it would also need the support of an opposition party.

Note to readers: CORRECTS spelling of Berardinetti's name in para 5