End the Use of Wild Animal Acts at The Big E!
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The Big E, a 17-day event held in West Springfield, MA, is the largest fair in the northeast and the 6th largest fair in the nation.
It began as a simple agricultural fair back in 1917 and is now regarded by organizers as a "New England extravaganza". Yet the current incarnation of the fair has exploded far beyond agriculture and New England heritage. In fact, The Big E uses wild animals acts for entertainment and such exhibits are not just inhumane, but some are even dangerous to humans.
Elephants, camels, zebras, kangaroos, and lemurs are featured in the R.W. Commerford & Sons Petting Zoo. This constantly travelling zoo contains a wide diversity of wild animals in very unnatural, cramped, and often unhealthy, conditions. Elephants, under the threat of punishment and prodded with a sharp metal instrument called a bullhook, are forced to give rides. Yet,
R.W. Commerford & Sons has been involved in three dangerous incidents while giving rides to children and caused injuries. This same company has been cited by the USDA numerous times for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
In addition to the petting zoo, The Big E will feature a bear trailer, which contains four full-grown bears shut in cages. In the wild, bears usually roam 20-50 miles each day, yet when confined at The Big E, these animals have but feet to roam back and forth. This is inhumane and far from educational.
Please join us in letting The Big E know that wild animals have no place at an agricultural fair focused on the beauty and diversity of New England and that wild animals belong in the wild, not forced to perform or trapped in cages by those whose sole purpose is to profit off of them.
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