Elephants giving rides at this year’s Minnesota Renaissance Festival were abused, says Animal Defenders International
Sept 28, 2016 SHAKOPEE, MN– Elephants supplied for rides at this year’s Minnesota Renaissance Festival have been filmed by Animal Defenders International (ADI) being beaten by their handler, Mike Swain, during training. ADI is asking the public not to pay for the elephant rides.
Jan Creamer, ADI President: “We are appealing to the public not to pay to ride abused elephants. Paying for the rides pays for this appalling and unacceptable cruelty. We believe that once people see how these animals suffer behind the scenes, they will not endorse such behavior and hope that event organizers will take a responsible position and end the rides.”
ADI has released a video about the suffering behind the rides, “No Fun for Elephants,” with award-winning TV legend Bob Barker, who observes: “To many, it looks like harmless fun, but elephants pay a heavy price for the few minutes of entertainment they provide when giving rides. Isn’t it especially tragic when animals are suffering and being abused simply to entertain us?”
ADI is urging the Minnesota Renaissance Festival to cancel the elephant rides at this year’s festival and all future events. Event organizers have been invited to watch the No Fun For Elephants DVD and online video.
Elephant rides have been abandoned by several events after responsible board members and city leaders viewed the evidence, including the Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Nevada County and Kern County Fairs, the cities of Fountain Valley and Upland, CA, Surprise, AZ, and the Santa Ana Zoo.
Animal Defenders International (ADI) is active worldwide to end the suffering of captive animals in commercial use: animals used in entertainment – film, television, advertising, circuses and sport or leisure such as hunting or for products such as fur. Replacement of animals in scientific research; funding and promotion of non-animal advanced methods. ADI investigates, produces evidence and reports on the scientific, legal and economic issues for each case study, recommending solutions. Information is distributed to the media, public and officials. Where ADI’s evidence has been a catalyst for change, we collaborate with governments to conduct large scale seizures or rescues of wild animals in captivity and relocate them to forever homes – back to their natural habitat wherever possible. www.ad-international.org