It's unfortunate that Mayor Frank Jackson has decided to listen to the opinions of the animal-rights radicals at People for the "Ethical" Treatment of Animals concerning circus elephants.

PETA isn't complaining about elephant training tools because it wants to improve animal welfare, but rather because it wants to shut down the circus entirely. Unbelievably, animal-rights activists think that elephants are better off dead than in a circus. One lawyer representing PETA told a federal court, "If the elephants are euthanized . . . that would be a better outcome" than being sent off to perform in a circus. (PETA apparently has the same belief about pets, having itself killed more than 25,000 adoptable dogs and cats since 1998, according to filings it makes with the Commonwealth of Virginia.)

Out of court, PETA has for years targeted young children across the country with an outrageous anti-circus propaganda campaign. But let's be honest: Trainers and veterinarians know more about circus-animal welfare than a bunch of extremists who don elephant costumes.