URGENT ACTION: PAWS California Action for 6/20/13 – Stop Elephant Rides at County Fair

June 17, 20130 Comments

Video: Have Trunk Will Travel Elephant Abuse. Video courtesy of Animal Defenders International, all footage is of Have Trunk Will Travel of Perris, CA.

This action is from our friends at the Performing Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) in Grass Valley, urging the Nevada County Fair to stop offering elephant rides. Please send the Nevada County Fair an email before Thurs. June 20 when the board of directors will meet to discuss elephant rides.  If you are near Grass Valley, you can attend the board meeting in person!

Please share this message with friends, family and colleagues who live in the area and urge them to attend the meeting or to send an email to the board.


Meeting of Nevada County Fair’s Board of Directors
(Elephant rides are first item on he agenda.)

Thursday, June 20 at 4 p.m.

Nevada County Fairgrounds, Ponderosa Hall
11228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(click here for map and directions)

(click here for map and directions) 

The Issue:

bullhook-pawsTraining elephants for rides involves violently breaking and training the elephants, and controlling them through dominance and fear of pain for the rest of their lives. Handlers use the bullhook (see photo at top of page), a steel rod resembling a sharpened fireplace poker, to routinely prod, hook and strike elephants so they comply with every command.

PAWS has long tracked the many dangerous incidents involving elephant rides that have resulted in human and elephant injures and deaths. PAWS co-founder, the late Pat Derby, testified at a Congressional hearing in 2000 on this important issue. PAWS will be sharing our experience and knowledge with the Nevada County Fair board when they meet on June 20. Ed Stewart, PAWS president and co-founder, and Catherine Doyle, PAWS director of science, research and advocacy, will both be attending. We hope to fill the June 20th meeting with PAWS supporters/friends. Let’s do this for the elephants!

It’s time for the Nevada County Fair to join the Los Angeles County Fair, the Orange County Fair and others who have stopped offering elephant rides.

What You Can Do To Help:

  1. Attend the Fair board meeting on Thursday, June 20. If you live in or near Grass Valley (an hour’s drive from Sacramento), or if you have attended the Nevada County Fair in the past, it is important that the Fair board hears from you! If you would like to speak during public comment, please prepare a brief statement. If you do not wish to speak, your presence is important to show the board that many people are opposed to the rides.
  2. Send an email to the Nevada County Fair board, urging them to cancel the rides. See the sample message below, but please be sure to personalize it as much as possible and keep your message polite.
  3. Share this message with friends, family and colleagues who live in the area. Urge them to attend the meeting or to send an email to the board.

If you are not a California resident but you live in an area where elephant rides are offered, let us know and we’ll work with you to stop them.

Send your message to:  sandy@NevadaCountyFair.com
Sandy Woods, Nevada County Fair CEO, and the 17th District Agricultural Association Board of Directors

Sample Message: 

Please be sure to personalize as much as possible; if you have attended the Fair in the past, please state that, as well as whether you will or will not attend this year:

Dear Ms. Woods and Board Members:

As a person who cares about elephant welfare and public safety, I urge you to cancel the elephant rides at this year’s Nevada County Fair. These rides are unsafe for the public and inhumane for the elephants.

The elephant ride provider, Have Trunk Will Travel, was caught on video striking elephants with bullhooks (a sharpened rod resembling a fireplace poker) and using an electric shock device to force an elephant to perform a circus trick. This alone should disturb anyone who truly cares about animals. I am also concerned that children and families are put at great risk when elephants are in close proximity to the public.

Elephants are not amusement park rides. Using them in this way sends the wrong message to families about how we should treat these highly endangered animals.

Please join the other California county fairs that have done the right thing, and cancel the elephant rides at the Nevada County Fair.


[Your Name]

Reprinted: Thank you to our friends at PAWS for creating this Elephant Action.

Filed in: Action AlertsAdvocacy TrainingAllCurriculumIssue EducationLegislationTourism, Rides & Parades
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