Written by PETA
As the L.A. County Fair opens this Saturday, notorious elephant-abusing company Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT) is scheduled to be there, selling rides on elephants. There is still time for people to e-mail L.A. County Fair organizers and ask that they send HTWT packing.
If HTWT attends as scheduled, members of PETA and Animal Defenders International (ADI) will protest at the entrance to the fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon. The groups will screen the video footage that ADI obtained showing HTWT trainers striking elephants with sharp, metal-tipped bullhooks and shocking them with electric prods.
Although fair organizers have seen this footage and heard from countless people, including classic rock band Styx, asking them to bar HTWT from the fair, they have refused to do so. By allowing HTWT at the fair, organizers are not only supporting elephant abuse but also putting the public at risk. One of the elephants used by HTWT revolted at the Denver Zoo, throwing a trainer against a wall, knocking over a woman and her baby, and scattering crowds of visitors. Another elephant who came from HTWT trampled a handler at the L.A. Zoo, smashing his collarbone and bruising three ribs.
Help keep the pressure on the L.A. County Fair and remind the organizers that there is nothing festive about cruelty to animals.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Animal Defenders International (ADI), which released video footage of an elephant, Tai, and others being hit with bullhooks and shocked with a stun gun, has filed suit against exhibitor Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT) for allegedly making misleading claims about how Tai was treated.
PETA Files readers may recall that HTWT is the same outfit that the Santa Ana Zoo contracts with to provide elephant rides, despite the risks to public safety and the cruelty to the elephants. (Readers can help by asking Santa Anna officials to get rid of these cruel and dangerous rides once and for all.)
Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for circuses to abuse animals and then lie about it. Ringling Bros. circus routinely touts its elephant care program, despite overwhelming evidence that elephants are beaten and chained and spend most of their lives crammed inside poorly ventilated, reeking railroad boxcars.
If you've ever bought a ticket to a circus believing that the elephants are treated well, you may have grounds for seeking redress. Please contact PETA for more information.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Undercover footage released by London-based Animal Defenders International shows an elephant handler with the "Super Circus" as he viciously kicks and beats a chained 58-year-old elephant named Annie with a pitchfork and a club. At one point, it appears that the elephant, who was taken from the wild as a child for a lifetime of servitude in the circus, is stabbed in the face with the tines of a pitchfork. Annie, who suffers from arthritis like most elephants in captivity, is the last elephant still used in a circus in Britain. The undercover footage also shows ponies and horses who jump backwards as they are kicked and slapped as well as a worker who spits in a camel's face.
Four years ago, PETA offered to pay to send Super Circus' owner, Bobby Roberts, to visit The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. We hoped that once he saw the paradise that awaited Annie, he would relent and retire her to sanctuary. The heartless exploiter never responded.
PETA U.K. has contacted the RSPCA asking that Annie be confiscated from the circus, and the group is appealing to the British government to pass a pending bill that would ban the use of wild animals in U.K. circuses.
While PETA U.K. fights for Annie, you can fight for elephants who are suffering right here in the U.S. Visit RinglingBeatsAnimals.com to learn more about the abuse of animals in circuses and what you can do to help stop it. Every one of those animals needs your help.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
The U.K.'s Chipperfield's Circus—which has been exploiting animals since 1684(!) and was in the news following the beating of a baby chimpanzee some years back—has gone animal-free!
Between 1996 and 1998, a long-term investigation of the circus led to successful cruelty-to-animals convictions of the circus's owners, Mary and Roger Chipperfield; jail for the elephant handler; and the closure of three of the circuses owned by the Chipperfield family.
With your help, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus could join the list of circuses in the U.S. that have decided to do away with animal acts, but unfortunately, it has dug in its heels. Please watch our Ringling investigation, share it with your friends, and then contact our Action Team to start campaigning today to make it happen!
Our friends at Animal Defenders International (ADI) have just released footage from their undercover investigation of the Great British Circus.
If you're like me, you just had déjà vu. ADI's undercover footage of elephant beatings is sickeningly similar to our footage of Ringling's elephant beatings. That's because the routine abuse of animals in circuses is universal.
While Ringling lies through its teeth about its treatment of elephants, the Great British Circus claims to follow the "code of conduct" set forth by the European Circus Association (a mouthpiece for circuses), which states, "Training must not … cause physical injury or psychological stress" and "… our animals are treated like members of the family … just like your family pet."
Which family? The Manson Family? In my family, we don't twist our cat's tail, and we don't strike our dogs' snouts.
In an alarming twist, Ringling Bros. plans to visit Europe. If you live across the pond, please take action so that Ringling isn't given the chance to swap bullhooks tricks of the trade with its British elephant-beating counterpart.
Written by Karin Bennett
Oh, how I'm dreaming of retiring at the ripe old age of 26 and setting up shop in South America. And no, it's not just because the weather is warmer and the mojitos are stiffer.
Bolivia—yep, the same Bolivia that banned military training exercises on animals a month ago—recently passed a bill to ban all circuses that exploit animals from their country. After members of the Bolivian wing of animal rights group Animal Defenders International (ADI) went undercover and revealed that animals in circuses are confined to cages without room for them to move around and forced to stay crammed in those cages for the majority of their lives, the Bolivian public was outraged (as all people with hearts should be). Member of Congress Ximena Flores introduced the bill to get seedy circuses banned from the country, and the rest of the Bolivian Senate has agreed to the ban. As soon as President Morales signs the bill, it will be the law of the land.
Talk about progressive.
Bolivia is not alone in South American sympathy for animals used in circuses. Peru is leading the charge of other South American countries working to ban circuses. If the U.S. doesn't start playing catch up on all these animal rights issues, I think I might just pack my suitcase.
Written by Shawna Flavell
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.