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|Originally Posted: 11 June 2011|
Tell San Diego County Fair to Suspend Cruel Elephant Rides
[Ed. Note: Please read Movie Star Electric Shocked - Water For Elephants for background about Have Trunk Will Travel's exposed brutality toward elephants.]
Tell Rebecca Desmond, acting director of the Division of Fairs and Expositions; Barry Nussbaum, president of the Board of Directors for the 22nd District Agricultural Association; and Tim Fennell, CEO and general manger of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, to urge them to suspend the elephant rides at the San Diego County Fair (June 2 - July 4) immediately while fair staff conduct an internal investigation.
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INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
Organizers of the San Diego County Fair are having elephant rides provided by the company Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), despite video evidence that the company abuses elephants. In video footage recently released by Animal Defenders International, trainers with HTWT can be seen 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 the footage, a baby elephant cries out in pain each time he is hit on the head and jabbed in his sensitive mouth with a bullhook.
The behind-the-scenes beatings continue throughout the elephants' lives and leave the elephants fearful and intimidated, allowing handlers to maintain control over them. When leading elephants used for rides, HTWT handlers are never without their bullhooks—tools that the elephants associate with pain and that remind them what will happen if they behave in a way the handler doesn't like.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!