Animal Defenders International

National Anti-vivisection SocietyLord Dowding Fund for humane research

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Animal Defenders International

Elephant Rides & Animal Displays

Posted: 27 September 2012. Updated: 2 April 2014

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Campaign to end elephant rides & displays

When county fair boards, zoos, parades, renaissance fairs, weddings and other events provide elephant rides or put elephants out on display for the public, it is not harmless fun. It certainly looks harmless and often the impression is given that the animal is enjoying the experience. That is a sham. The animal is fearful and doing as it is told because the punishment for disobedience is severe – from a beating to an electric shock from a stun gun.

Animal Defenders International has released undercover video of elephant training and handling at Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), based in Perris, CA. Many county fair boards, once they have seen this footage, realize the suffering that goes on behind closed doors, out of public view, have decided to end the rides.

See footage from Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT) of Perris, CA–



And also video of Mike Swain, working the elephants owned by Bill Swain of Trunks & Humps, of Conroe, Texas – his elephants are frequently used for rides at renaissance fairs–



After the footage was released, Orange County Fair, LA County Fair, Upland Lemon Festival, Santa Ana Zoo, and the cities of Fountain Valley, and Sierra Madre have all made the decision that they will not include animal cruelty in their events.

Our current activities

ADI is presently campaigning to end elephant rides at:

Success!

To date, we have won victories and ended elephant rides at:

Get involved – how you can support the campaign

  • Make a donation to help fund our undercover investigations and campaign to end the use of performing animals
  • Sign up to our campaign eAlerts to keep informed, so that you can take action when needed

NEWS...NEWS...NEWS...

Elephant Ride Company Owner Says They Are Not Returning To San Diego County Fair

Controversial elephant provider, Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), announced that they will not be bringing elephants back to the 2014 San Diego County Fair for rides. Read more…

Unwilling to change, elephant supplier drops industry accreditation

Elephant abuser Have Trunk Will Travel has announced it is no longer certified under the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Read more…

Thousands Say “No” To Elephant Rides at Kern County Fair

ADI’s No Fun for Elephants outreach at the Kern County Fair in California this Fall had a huge impact, resulting in over 2600 signatures collected to protest elephant rides at the fair. Read more…



No Elephant Rides at Bristol Renaissance Faire This Year

Another victory has been won in our “No Fun for Elephants” campaign as the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha, Wisconsin has decided not to bring elephant rides back to this year’s fair. Read more...



ADI Campaigns to End Elephant Rides at the Nevada County Fair

Our No Fun For Elephants campaign recently created a storm in Nevada County as ADI, other animal protection groups and hundreds of local residents objected to rides being given at the Nevada County Fair by notorious supplier Have Trunk Will Travel. Read more...

No Elephant Rides at Grays Harbor County Fair This Year

After receiving ADI’s “No Fun for Elephants” video showing the behind-the-scenes abuse of elephants used for rides, the Grays Harbor County Fair Board in Elma, Washington has decided not to bring elephant rides back to this year’s fair. Read more...

Jaycees Gregg County Fair introduces “No Performing Elephants” Policy

The Jaycees Gregg County Fair in Longview, Texas has joined the growing list of events determined to protect elephants from abusive elephant rides! Read more...

Lake Renaissance Festival introduces “No Performing Elephants” Policy

After reviewing the “No Fun For Elephants” DVD, Lake Renaissance Festival has adopted a new policy pledging to leave elephant rides, appearances and performances out of all current and future events. Read more...

Bob Barker Spearheads ADI Campaign to End Elephant Suffering at Fairs

ADI has launched a nationwide initiative in the U.S. about the use of elephants giving rides, performances or making appearances at public events. At the heart of the campaign is a new DVD narrated by Emmy award winning TV host Bob Barker. Read more...

Oregon Zoo Secures Ownership of Baby Elephant Lily

Following a hard-fought media campaign by ADI, the Oregon Zoo has secured ownership of baby elephant Lily.
Read more...



Bob Barker urges Oregon Zoo to secure baby elephant Lily

Bob Barker lends support to ADI’s campaign ensuring Have Trunk Will Travel gives up baby elephant Lily.
Read more…




Rose-Tu’s baby must not be handed to elephant abusers

An elephant born at Oregon Zoo could face a lifetime of misery at the hands of animal trainers Have Trunk Will Travel.
Read more...



Jorja Fox releases video to highlight Krissy’s plight

ADI Ambassador Jorja Fox (CSI) releases video for ADI telling the story of Krissy, an elephant torn from the wild in Africa
Watch here



Los Angeles County Fair ends elephant rides

L.A. County Fair ends elephant ride attraction after reviewing ADI’s footage of Have Trunk Will Travel.
Read more…



Fountain Valley Cancels Elephant Rides at Easter event

Fountain Valley cancels elephant rides for 2012 Easter Event after reviewing ADI’s Have Trunk Will Travel footage
Read more…



Orange County Fair ends elephant rides

The OC Fair Board cancels elephant rides after reviewing ADI’s footage of Have Trunk Will Travel.
Read more…



Santa Ana Zoo Ends Elephant Rides

Santa Ana Zoo cancels a 25 yr. contract with Have Trunk Will Travel after receiving ADI’s undercover footage.
Read more…



Sierra Madre Cancels Elephant Performance

Sierra Madre has cancelled Have Trunk Will Travel’s elephant performance at their 2011 Independence Day Event due to ADI’s footage. Read more....



New standards announced by Assoc. of Zoos & Aquariums

Shortly after ADI’s expose of Have Trunk Will Travel, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) announced new ‘Protected Care’ standards.
Read more…

Performing animals at events

ADI is opposed to the use of animals in all forms of entertainment, including their involvement in performances of large outdoor shows, theater productions, art installations, parades, renaissance fairs, and weddings.

Video evidence obtained by our field officers, combined with science-based research, have time and again shown that, despite reassurances to the contrary, abuse of performing animals is commonplace, usually occuring off set and behind the scenes.

Past campaigns to stop the use of performing animals

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council held a reindeer parade on 15 December 2013. Read more

St Edmundsbury Borough Council held a Living Nativity featuring donkeys, alpacas and sheep at its Christmas Fayre in December 2013. The council has stated that it was “satisfied with the welfare standards of the animals".

South Tyneside Council featured three camels during its Christmas Wonderland Procession. Read more...

Middlesbrough Council held a reindeer parade on 1 December 2013. Read more...

Ski and Snowboard Show had a “mother and baby reindeer” on display at Earls Court 2 in London on Saturday 2 November 2013. Read more...

Covent Garden London used live reindeer for petting and photo opportunities at Covent Garden Piazza from 9 November to 21 December 2013. Read more...

Hialeah Fair in Florida had Banana Derby Monkey Jockeys at its event in 2013, featuring monkeys dressed in costumes, strapped and chained to the backs of dogs who race around a makeshift track. Read more...

The Ski and Snowboard Show Held from 31 October until 3 November, 2012 at Earls Court 2 in London, this event booked five penguins to appear which the organizers say will be ”frolicking in their pen and out on the ice”. Read more...

Olympics opening ceremony: When it was announced that the London 2012 Olympics would feature over 100 animals in its opening ceremony, ADI joined forces with a coalition of animal protection groups to voice its opposition. Sadly, it was not possible to changed the organizers’ minds and the animals were exposed to huge crowds, high levels of noise and flashing lights, despite our concerns, and those of our supporters and many of the public. Read more…

GMB Union: In 2006, the GMB Union hired a live camel to stage a protest against AA owners’ Permira and CVC outside a London church. The camel was 30 years old and had to endure nearly six hours of travel in addition to the three-hour event itself. After being contacted by ADI, the union announced that they would not use animals in future. Read more…

ADI has also called on director Kevin Spacey to replace the rhesus macaque used in performances of Inherit The Wind at The Old Vic and UK councils to refuse permission for shows such as Apassionata, Ben Hur Live and art installations using live animals.

© Animal Defenders International 2014