PETA Rallies Supporters to Demand That Lucas County Fair Nix Elephant Rides

Protest Planned if Abusive and Repeatedly Penalized Exhibitor Continues to Use Ailing, Neglected Elephant at Event

For Immediate Release:
July 10, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Maumee, Ohio — PETA has sent an urgent letter to the organizers of the Lucas County Fair urging them to cancel elephant rides. The exhibitor offering the rides, Hugo Liebel of the notorious Liebel Family Circus, has been repeatedly cited and penalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for denying veterinary care to Nosey, the elephant forced to carry fairgoers on her back, as well as for other violations. Liebel has also been cited and penalized for repeatedly allowing dangerous, unsupervised public contact with Nosey, who attacked and sent a worker to the emergency room in 2004.

In the event that fair organizers don’t cancel the ongoing elephant rides, PETA has planned a volunteer-led protest outside the fairgrounds for Friday, July 12, from 12 noon to 1 p.m.

“No matter how many times he gets caught, Liebel continues to thumb his nose at animal welfare and public safety,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “If the Lucas County Fair continues to host this cruel outfit, it will virtually be underwriting animal abuse and public endangerment.”

Liebel was recently ordered to pay a $7,500 penalty to settle nearly three dozen charges of violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. These charges included repeatedly chaining Nosey so tightly that she could barely move and denying her necessary veterinary care. According to USDA records, Liebel has failed to adequately treat Nosey’s chronic skin condition over a 20-year period. Despite a growing collection of federal violations, he continues to deny this elephant the care that she needs—instead transporting her all over the country and forcing her to give rides.

Because Liebel controls Nosey with a bullhook—a sharp metal weapon that resembles a fireplace poker—PETA is also calling on the Toledo Area Humane Society to strictly enforce an Ohio law that states that “[n]o person shall … use … electric or other prods, or similar devices” on animals being used in any exhibition.

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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