The annual Medieval Fair in Norman, Oklahoma, is a nationally renowned event that features many family-friendly options for entertainment. Unfortunately, it also features the dangerous and inhumane practice of using large wild animals such as elephants and camels to perform for the entertainment of the crowds.
The use of animals as entertainment for events such as this one is an outdated, unnecessary and cruel practice. The training, transport and lifestyle of these animals has been well documented by various organizations in recent years, and the overall picture it paints is a bleak one. Yanked about by bullhooks, crammed into small trailers and dragged from city to city, being shackled by the ankle and forced to walk in circles while entire families pile onto their backs, day in and day out, is no way for any creature to be forced to live. Anyone who attends the Medieval Fair, or any event that uses animal entertainment, can attest to the noticeable boredom and broken-spiritedness of these extremely intelligent creatures.
Elephants, camels, and other large animals forced to perform for crowds of people is inappropriate for any community, especially a community that prides itself on common sense and safety such as Norman. There have been innumerable instances of these animals going berserk as a result of a lifetime of abuse, killing and injuring many bystanders. Fortunately, many people have begun to recognize the cruelty and danger inherent in this practice. In fact, there's a long list of countries---Bolivia, Austria, India, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal and Slovakia, among others — that have passed measures to ban wild animals in circus acts. Other nations, including Britain, Norway and Brazil, are on the verge of doing the same. Already, dozens of cities in the United States have banned circus animals.
We respectfully request that Norman, Oklahoma add itself to this list.
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