PETA Asks State to Deny Cruel Elephant Exhibitor’s Permit Renewal

Have Trunk Will Travel’s Violent, Criminally Abusive Training Practices Make Company Ineligible for Restricted Species Permit, Says Group 

For Immediate Release:
September 25, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Perris, Calif. — This morning, PETA sent a letter urging the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to refuse to renew the restricted species permit currently held by notorious elephant exhibitor Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), which provides elephants for television and movies. As PETA points out in its letter, California law allows such an exemption to the state’s ban on the ownership of elephants only if it “will be in the best interest of the state and animal”—and HTWT has been caught on video beating them with sharp, metal-tipped bullhooks and shocking them with electric prods. As a Los Angeles County court recently recognized, California law prohibits the use of physical punishment and electricity on elephants. 

“Chaining, beating, and shocking elephants into performing tricks and giving rides flies in the face of the California laws put in place to protect these intelligent, sensitive animals,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the state of California to uphold its laws and deny the renewal of Have Trunk Will Travel’s license or revoke it.”

HTWT has repeatedly defended its practices of chaining elephants and beating them with bullhooks. Multiple studies have shown that using endangered animals in entertainment makes no real contribution to species conservation nor does breeding elephants in captivity—none of whom will ever be released into the wild. And HTWT’s breeding program has been a particular failure: three of the four elephants born at HTWT’s facilities died before their fourth birthdays.

PETA’s letter to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is available upon request. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind