Ban Elephant Rides at the San Diego County Fair
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Organizers of the San Diego County Fair have repeatedly allowed elephant rides provided by the company Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), despite video evidence that the company abuses elephants. In video footage [http://vimeo.com/23564589] released earlier this year 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 a fireplace poker that can leave painful welts, abscesses, and puncture wounds in elephants' skin. The footage even shows a baby elephant crying out in pain each time he is hit on the head and jabbed in his sensitive mouth with a bullhook by a HTWT trainer. In addition to being manipulated and controlled with bullhooks, elephants with HTWT are subjected to extreme confinement, chained for extended periods of time, and trucked from location to location where they are rented out.
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