The order, issued Monday, would prevent the county from enforcing animal control laws in the city of Atlanta, days before the arrival of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The use of bullhooks has long been a controversial subject. The instrument, also called an elephant goad, consists of a hook attached to a two or three foot pole, which is inserted into the elephant's skin in order to tame it.
Anna Ware, animal rights activist and resident of Buckhead, Ga., told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she is disappointed with the judge's order.
"I believe that when the Fulton County Board of Commissioners passed the bullhook ban … they heard and understood the concerns of their citizens relating to the use of the bullhook," she said.