Rocker Joan Jett has urged lawmakers in Rhode Island to ban the use of bullhooks by elephant trainers in a bid to protect the animals from inhumane treatment.

The I Love Rock 'n' Roll hitmaker has written to state politicians on behalf of The Humane Society of the United States, calling on them to back a new bill which will outlaw the sharp, heavy rods, which are most commonly used in circuses and travelling shows.

The proposed legislation, known as the Hb 7192/S 2189 bill, would also prevent elephants in such environments from being constantly chained up, and Jett hopes lawmakers will do the right thing when a hearing on the matter is held on Tuesday (15Apr14).

In the open letter, the rocker and animal rights activist writes in part, "I have always loved performing in The Ocean State and the passage of Hb 7192/S 2189 would be beyond thrilling...

"I have seen several undercover videos of elephants - many of them chained or otherwise physically immobilized - being hit by animal handlers in the circus. The egregious misuse of this device which circus insiders often call 'guides' is cruel and inhumane. If someone were to use a bullhook to control and train a dog or a horse, it would be considered animal cruelty and the same should be applied to elephants.

"The City of Los Angeles recently banned the use of bullhooks... joining more than 35 other jurisdictions in the United States restricting the use of elephants in traveling shows and/or the use of bullhooks on elephants.

"I sincerely hope I can count on you to see to this bill's passage."