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Elephants or No Elephants at the Fair

The elephant in the room at this afternoon’s Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors meeting is an actual elephant! In an effort to provide a circus like atmosphere inline with the Fair’s theme, Under the Big Top, the Board contracted with a reputable “live-elephant-ride” provider from Southern California. The Center for Animal Protection and Education in Grass valley is not happy with that arrangement.
Click here to listen to Shelly Frost

A video posted on YouTube by Animal Defenders International shows the alleged abusive treatment of the elephants.
Have Trunk Will Travel spokesperson Paul O’Sullivan says the video has been edited together and images are taken out of context.
Click here to listen to Paul O’Sullivan

Program Manager, Shelley Frost goes on to say that Have Trunk Will Travel is all about business not elephant care.
Click here to listen to Shelley Frost

In regards to safety O’Sullivan says that Have Trunk Will Travel has a spotless safety record, legal challenges and review by authorities responsible for monitoring the company have all been favorable for Have Trunk Will Travel. O’Sullivan says that the owners, Gary and Kari Johnson are respected elephant managers.
Click here to listen to Paul O’Sullivan

According to FOXnews.com an elephant related accident in 2009 , not associated with Have Trunk Will Travel, occurred at the Indiana State Fair when an elephant was spooked and stumbled knocking over a a mobile stairway. 15 children and 1 adult in on and around the stairway were treated on location.

In comparison, The National¬† Amusement Safety Organization’s Carnival Company Incident Database lists Butler Amusements, the Fairs Amusement Ride provider, as having 22 Safety Incidents reported in California:
12 involving rider injuries
10 involving unsafe issues with ride operator

The Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors will be holding public comment and addressing the elephant rides issue at the Board of Directors Meeting this afternoon beginning at 4:00 PM at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

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