Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Kern County Fair to ban elephant rides… after 2 more years

Posted: 29 April 2015. Updated: 29 April 2015


In a bittersweet victory, the Kern County Fair Board decided on April 20th, in a 6 to 3 vote, on a “sunset provision” that will allow two more years of elephant rides (2015 and 2016) at the fair before ending their contract with Have Trunk Will Travel. The minority three boardmembers wanted the rides ended immediately, but others cited a need to help the elephant company transition to a new business model as the reason for the delay.

Boardmembers mostly voiced public safety concerns as their reason to end the rides. ADI had recently shared video evidence with the board of Have Trunk Will Travel at various southern California venues, including twice at the Kern County Fairgrounds, where they had an unattended elephant who was not being directly supervised by a trainer. All these instances were documented after the company had been cited for the same thing during a routine USDA inspection in 2012.

It is disappointing that the board is again turning a blind eye to the abuse of these elephants and public safety risk by bringing them back for two more years, but ADI worked long and hard for a positive outcome, and at least the end is now within sight.

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