Family of trampled woman calls for UK ban on elephant parks ads

PHOTO: Renewed calls for a ban on advertising elephant shows. (via Nong Nooch)

More than 20 years after a British woman was trampled to death at Nong Nooch Village Elephant Show in Thailand, her family is frustrated that elephant shows and rides are still being advertised and promoted in the UK. Andrea Taylor was just 20 years old in 2000 when an elephant charged into the crowd, killing her and injuring her sister Helen and father Geoff. Now they’re calling for an advertising ban in the UK to try to throttle the profits of these elephant parks they say are capitalising on tortured animals.

Save the Asian Elephants recently found more than 1,200 businesses in the UK advertising in promoting 277 places abroad where tourists can watch shows and ride elephants. Last year the UK government pledged to ban advertising and selling of what they called “specific, unacceptable practices abroad” (including elephant abuse) but no action has been taken yet.

Chief executive Duncan McNair explains that elephants are deprived of food, water, sleep, and interaction with other elephants while being chained and beaten to break them into submission. Helen explained that these animals suffer terrible abuse to make them docile and perform for tourists and are often physically tormented and mentally anguished by giving rides and their daily treatment.

“Year after year, people don’t either realise or are blind to the horrific abuse animals such as elephants face when being forced to interact with humans. A ban on advertising such tourist sites would greatly help to stop visitors from knowing about these places and stop humans profiting from animal abuse. The delay and lack of government interest in the ban is endangering the lives of UK tourists and allowing the abuse to continue.”

McNair explains that over 90% of the public support taking action to stop the abuse of elephants which can have tragic and fatal results for the animals and humans. He points to research that found 716 people killed and 932 severely injured by elephants. Self-regulation and piecemeal rules along with easily broken promises by elephant park operators have failed, according to McNair, and he calls for immediate government action.

SOURCE: Express

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.