The ban was passed unanimously by the L.A. city council on April 31. Reuters

Animal rights activists are celebrating after the city of Los Angeles approved a ban on the use of bats, pitchforks, billhooks and other tools to control exotic circus animals.

According to Reuters, the ban was passed unanimously by the city council on April 31. It will go into effect beginning in January 2017. The lapse in time will offer circuses the chance to change the ways they handle elephants and other exotic animals.

"The circus is welcome in Los Angeles, just without the bullhooks," said Paul Koretz, L.A. city councilor. "We're hoping that they follow the model of other circuses that don't use exotic animals."

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey told Reuters the ban was "unnecessary" and said it would possibly lead to the cancelation of Los Angeles circus activities.