This summer the San Diego County Fair will offer rides on elephants rented from Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), a company that uses sharp bullhooks and high-voltage electrical prods to train its animals.
Undercover videos released by Animal Defenders International (ADI) last month show HTWT owner Kari Johnson and various employees beating and shocking elephants. A calf is shown being smacked inside its very sensitive mouth with a bullhook, a device so inhumane that it’s been banned in several U.S. cities and counties, most recently in Fulton County, Georgia.
Members of ADI, PETA and the Animal Protection and Rescue League addressed the San Diego County fair board during a meeting on June 7, 2011, asking that the elephant rides be stopped. Board President Barry Nussbaum agreed to look into the allegations against HTWT and confer with animal experts. Although ADI has called for an immediate suspension of the rides pending the investigation, the fair has started and the elephant rides are underway.
By renting elephants from Have Trunk Will Travel, the San Diego County Fair is condoning animal abuse. Sign the petition asking the fair to stop the elephant rides.
Photo credit: Glenn R. Carter