There are a number of myths surrounding the training of wild animals to stand on their heads, jump through hoops, or balance on pedestals for our entertainment. One of these is a technique known as 'positive reinforcement training' (PRT), you may be familiar with it from training your puppy. In essence, when the puppy behaves in the desired manner it is rewarded with bits of food or ‘treats’, but the reality is not all PRT training is positive at all!

Circuses use, abuse and ‘train’ wild animals to entertain audiences who are paying to see wild animals abused. These animals are trained by 'negative reinforcement training'.

The methods used include Bull hooks. They are used by poking and prodding the animal - some times very deep in to the skin - causing pain - in order to force them to perform a certain behaviour. They are often used in conjunction with electric prods that deliver an electric shock as a sharp reminder to the animal that it has not done as the instructor wanted.

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