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Animal Defenders International

Bob Barker Spearheads New ADI Campaign to End Elephant Suffering at Fairs

Posted: 26 February 2013. Updated: 14 April 2014

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ADI has launched a nationwide initiative in the United States 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 entitled ‘No Fun For Elephants’ and featuring harrowing undercover footage from inside elephant training facilities in California, as well as abuse of an elephant on tour by a Texas-owned company.

Watch the “No Fun For Elephants” DVD:

Bob Barker introduces the video, "To many, it looks like harmless fun, but elephants pay a heavy price for the few minutes of entertainment they provide when performing in circus shows, giving rides, or making appearances at parades, weddings or other events. Most of us marvel at the majesty of wild animals and I can understand why people want to see animals like elephants up close. But isn’t it especially tragic when animals are suffering and being abused simply to entertain us?"

The video includes ADI undercover footage showing elephants supplied for rides, appearances and other events by Have Trunk Will Travel of Perris, CA and Trunks & Humps of Conroe, TX, being beaten and electric shocked during training and handling, behind the scenes. The same trainers are then shown controlling the elephants as they give rides and make appearances at parades.

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The ADI ‘No Fun For Elephants’ DVD is being mailed to event organizers across the U.S., including board members of county fairs, renaissance fairs and organizers of town parades, urging them to adopt a humane ‘no elephant rides or performances’ policy, in view of the suffering these animals endure. ADI also highlights the risks to public safety by the way that just lightweight rope, tape or fencing is used to contain these large and stressed animals while they are in public.

  • ADI’s information pack will show board members of county fairs, renaissance fairs and organizers of town parades and other events, that if they hire these elephants for rides for the public, they are supporting cruelty.
  • The launch signifies the first ever major push to all the event organizers across the U.S.
  • For the first time, fair boards and town parade/event organizers will have actual evidence of the brutality suffered by these animals behind the scenes, in order to make them compliant for public performances.
  • We will be asking fair boards, town parade and event organizers to make a formal policy that they will not provide elephant rides or appearances at their event in future.
  • Each fair board, parade organizer and mayor will receive the hard copy and also the links for electronic copies from the internet.

Elephant rides have recently been abandoned by the boards of several events after viewing ADI evidence, including the Orange County and LA County Fairs and Santa Ana Zoo, so ADI is confident that if event organizers are given the facts and understand the cost to the animals, they will say “no” to the suffering.

Jan Creamer, ADI President: "We believe that once people see how these animals suffer behind the scenes, they will not endorse such cruelty. We realize an elephant walking around a small enclosure giving rides looks like a bit of harmless fun, but it takes a vicious training regime to get these wild animals to be so quiet and compliant in public. We know that event organizers will be shocked and will agree that these rides and appearances bring shame on their event."

As Bob Barker concludes: "It really isn’t harmless fun, and it’s time it stopped."

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ADI’s Work to End Elephant Rides & Displays

Please visit ADI’s “Elephant Rides & Displays” page for more information about our work to end the use of elephants for rides and public performances.

ADI Supporters are asked to help!

  • You can help by contacting your local fair board, town parade organizer or newspaper; tell them that you don’t want to attend events that include animal cruelty. Call us at 323 935 2234 or email usa@ad-international.org, for help on how to go about this.
  • Get involved by taking our leaflets and posters and educating members of the public who might be considering attending events with elephant rides, performances or parades. For more information and to request materials, email usa@ad-international.org.
  • You can also help by making a donation to support ADI’s “No Fun For Elephants” campaign

© Animal Defenders International 2014