Stop torturing elephants for the tourism industry!

"Trainers" beating an elephant calf "Trainers" breaking the will of an elephant calf (© Brent Lewin/Redux/laif)

Attractions featuring captive animals are huge tourist draws in many countries. Elephants in particular are subject to horrific abuse in the name of entertainment in India and Southeast Asia. Speak out for an end to cruelty to animals in the tourism industry!

Call to action

To: businesses in the tourism industry

There is absolutely no justification for cruelty to elephants for entertainment purposes. We call on you to end all attractions that involve animal abuse.

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The images are stomach-churning – the torture that elephants are put through in India and elsewhere to "train" them as riding animals for tourists or prepare them for the endless boredom and loneliness of life as temple elephants is simply horrific.

Wild elephant calves are captured and taken away from their mothers, forced into tiny cages for months at a time, beaten, starved and deprived of sleep to break their spirit. Nearly half of the elephants do not survive these months – and in some cases years – of abuse.

In Indonesia, tourists can ride through Way Kambas National Park on Sumatra on the backs of elephants. Keepers in Indonesian zoos and safari parks routinely use bull hooks – long rods with a curved spike at the end – on the elephants in their shows. Their trunks are covered with injuries from the hooks, as are their tails, which the keepers routinely pull to get the elephants into position.

The situation is much the same in Thailand, South Africa and other countries that promote similar attractions.

While these abuses have been highlighted in the media time and again, numerous tour operators in Europe and elsewhere still support and encourage such cruelty by offering packages with elephant rides.

It is time to put an end to these barbaric practices.

Please add your voice to our petition.

Back­ground Letter

To: businesses in the tourism industry

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Wild animals such as elephants are used in the tourism industry for entertainment purposes. These sensitive, intelligent creatures are frequently subjected to extreme cruelty to tame them and make them submissive to their handlers.

Please make every effort to ensure that this abuse of the animals and torture for entertainment purposes comes to an end.

Yours faithfully,

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