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Tell the San Diego County Fair to End Cruel Elephant Rides

December 26, 2012
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

BACKGROUND

The San Diego County Fair has stubbornly refused to end its decades-long affiliation with notorious animal abuser Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), despite being fully aware of video footage released by Animal Defenders International showing HTWT trainers as they jab screaming elephants with bullhooks—sharp, metal-tipped weapons resembling fireplace pokers that can leave painful welts, abscesses, and puncture wounds on elephants’ sensitive skin—and shock them with electric prods. In addition to its abysmal animal welfare record, HTWT was recently cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for endangering the public by failing to adequately supervise elephants during rides. Please urge the San Diego County Fair to join the ranks of the Orange County Fair, Los Angeles County Fair, and the Santa Ana Zoo by immediately ending its relationship with the infamous HTWT. 

Newly released records reveal that in August 2012, the USDA conducted an inspection of HTWT and cited the company for its failure to maintain elephants under the direct control and supervision of a knowledgeable and experienced handler. The USDA inspector noted that during elephant rides, the elephant who was not used to give rides was not secured and often not supervised. A PETA complaint prompted the USDA inspection after photographs showed two adult elephants with HTWT in Aberdeen, S.D., hardly contained by low, inadequate fences and young children standing so close to the elephants that they could have easily come into contact with them.

Earlier this year, the Orange County Fair cut ties with HTWT and ended elephant rides—after 25 years of carrying on with this cruel and dangerous “tradition.” In light of HTWT’s recent public endangerment, it is time for the San Diego County Fair to finally follow suit. Please take a moment to write to the members of the 22nd District Agricultural Association Board of Directors and ask them to end their association with HTWT and halt cruel elephant rides.


WHOM TO CONTACT

You can e-mail the board members through Donna O’Leary, executive assistant at the fairgrounds, at doleary@sdfair.com.

If you are a San Diego County resident or if you have a few extra moments to make this letter more personal, please alter the text in a respectful manner before sending it.


SAMPLE SUBJECT

End Cruel Elephant Rides at County Fair



SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Board Members,

I was disappointed to learn that the San Diego County Fair has not yet ended its relationship with Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), despite the fact that the Board of Directors knows about video footage that shows trainers with HTWT forcing elephants to “perform” by shocking them with electric prods in the belly and genital area and striking them with bullhooks—sharp, metal-tipped weapons resembling fireplace pokers that can leave painful welts, abscesses, and puncture wounds on elephants’ sensitive skin.

In addition to HTWT’s abysmal animal welfare record, newly released records reveal that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducted an inspection of HTWT over the summer and cited the company for failing to maintain elephants under the direct control and supervision of a knowledgeable and experienced handler. The USDA inspector noted that during elephant rides, the elephant who was not used to give rides was not secured and often not supervised.

In light of this new information, it is evident that HTWT neglects not only the well-being of animals but also public safety. Please make the compassionate and prudent decision to protect animal welfare and public safety by immediately ending your relationship with HTWT and halting cruel elephant rides.

NAME


san diego county unfair,
elephants should not be
treated like this anywhere.
please end these
abuses, cut your ties
with HTWT,
and be among
humane company.
time to show elephants
and people that you care,
and you will be the fairest
of the fair!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


14 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2012 6:38 pm

    We will be boycotting all of SAN DIEGO unless and until this egregious abuse of elephants is stopped and the HTWT owners are prosecuted for all their PROVEN violations!!! This is totally UNACCEPTABLE and shocking that it is being allowed & even ENABLED in the USA!! Shame to all the guilty parties, who know exactly who they are!!!!

    Like

  2. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    December 27, 2012 3:55 am

    san diego county unfair,
    elephants should not be
    treated like this anywhere.
    please end these
    abuses, cut your ties
    with HTWT,
    and be among
    humane company.
    time to show elephants
    and people that you care,
    and you will be the fairest
    of the fair!

    Like

  3. Jeanne permalink
    December 27, 2012 2:59 pm

    I’m 3000 miles away, or I’d be at their gate tomorrow with an attorney to serve them for this blatant abuse! It’s disgusing to see how little it takes for so-called “human beings” to sell out other helpless beings!

    Like

  4. December 27, 2012 3:35 pm

    done email sent and shared in several places this disgusts me in February Ringling Bros Circus is coming to philadelphia pennsylvania i live in new jersey which is the next state over i am going to the protest there THATS just how much i hate animals being used and exploited in circuses zoos aquariums and entertainment thanks Stacey for the alert and great poem Karen love it

    Like

    • December 27, 2012 5:30 pm

      Thanks, as always, for your commitment and hard work, Florence, you rock.

      Like

    • karenlyonskalmenson permalink
      December 28, 2012 3:31 am

      thank you florence

      Like

  5. Susan permalink
    December 28, 2012 8:29 am

    Hi it would be great if you could make this more user friendly so all we have to do is put our details in and change the text if we wish. I think quite a few people will come here with good intentions and then not understand what they need to do and/or decide they can’t be bothered.

    Like

    • December 28, 2012 11:46 am

      I agree, and I wish that were an option – believe me, I’ve tried. Unfortunately, as of now, referral email forms are not yet available outside the generic Contact Us form.

      Like

    • catwhispurrer permalink
      December 28, 2012 2:34 pm

      You make a valid point Susan. I know even good animal loving people who can’t or won’t take the time, or make the effort to send the letters. Unlike elephants, too many humans will not jump thru any hoops or obstacles, and we can’t use “bull hooks” to force them to do so! This is unfortunate, as many just won’t do it, the way it is set up. I hope that Our Compass will reconsider & simplify for future campaigns…. Please KISS it (Keep It Super Simple) for the sake of the animals.

      Like

      • December 28, 2012 4:46 pm

        As I already wrote, it is not an option. It’s not a matter of reconsideration, it’s a matter of options – it is not available on hosted WordPress sites, of which OC is. I cannot make it magically available if it is not an option. Again, it is not an option.

        Like

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