Use of elephants at Cache County Fair causing controversy

FILE PHOTO - Elephant handler Billy Morry of George Carden Circus, polishes the tusks of Bo, a 15-year-old Asian elephant, Monday, March 31, 2003, preparing the elephant to enter the ring in the Dickinson Rec Center in Dickinson, N.D. Bo responds to verbal commands and receives apples for a treat. (AP Photo/Ruth Plunkett)

The 2015 Cache County Fair opens next week and County Clerk Jill Zollinger, who is also the Fair manager, has said it will be bigger and better than ever this year. She recently announced that something new has been added– elephants–and has said that they have been very popular at other recent events in the state.

Not everyone is excited about the elephant visit, however. On KVNU’s For the People program Wednesday, Andy Morgan, volunteer spokesman for a group opposed to the elephant visit, said a petition is out with almost 24,000 names asking the county to cancel the appearance of the two elephants.

He said the reason is that the company bringing the elephants, George Carden Circus International, has received numerous citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the way they treat animals. Some of the citations are for failure to provide adequate shelter, sometimes providing unsafe enclosures, failure to provide veterinarian care, and a lot more.

“If you want to teach your kids something about animals,” said Morgan, “let’s teach them about respecting animals and treating these creatures that are on this earth with us with a little more respect and dignity that they deserve than just being a circus for our entertainment, especially if they are treated poorly.”

Morgan said unless the elephant appearance is cancelled a lot of people, like himself, will probably skip the fair this year.

The George Carden Circus has said that it <a href=”” target=”_blank”>plans to phase out</a> the use of elephants by 2019.

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