Defenders International (ADI)
Animal Defenders International (ADI) applauds James Henwood, President of the Los Angeles County Fair Association (LACFA) and their Board for their decision to end the elephant rides at the Los Angeles County Fair. ADI congratulates the LACFA for their leadership in showing compassion for animals and concern for public safety.
The board was sent evidence of brutal training including the use of electric prods and bullhooks—a heavy bar with a sharpened point and hook—that trainers use to hit, ‘hook’ and jab elephants in order to dominate and control them. Public safety can never be assured when wild animals are used for entertainment, such as for elephant rides and in circuses, and members of the public, including children, have been killed and maimed.
ADI applauds The Los Angeles County Fair Board for ending the elephant rides and joining the worldwide trend of progressive fairs, cities and nations which have decided to shun entertainment that involves animal cruelty,” said Jan Creamer, ADI’s president. “Trainers use brutal methods, bullhooks and electric shocking devices, to control these elephants for rides, and as the largest county fair in the nation this decision will go far to set a positive example to other fairs across the country which we hope will soon follow their lead. ADI will be seeking assurances that this will be a permanent policy and we will never see elephants at the fair again.
The elephants were being provided by Have Trunk Will Travel, a Perris, California company which was exposed in a video released by ADI showing trainers and owners shocking their elephants with handheld electric prods and violently hitting and ‘hooking’ them with bullhooks. Within the past year, other SoCal municipalities and venues have severed ties with Have Trunk Will Travel amid protests and public outcry, including the Orange County Fair and the Santa Ana Zoo both ending a twenty-five year run of elephant rides and last summer’s cancellation of an elephant in the Fourth of July Parade in the city of Sierra Madre.
Since the release of the video last May, a coalition of groups including Animal Defenders International (ADI), Animal Protection and Rescue League (APRL), In Defense of Animals (IDA), Last Chance for Animals (LCA), and PETA have worked to end elephant rides at the LA County Fair.