OTHER VOICES
Shelley Watten

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July 4, 2013
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No elephants at the fair

In regards to having elephant rides at the Nevada County Fair, I feel compelled to write, especially after seeing such heated debate on behalf of the animals.

These are large and sensitive animals. Every now and then, you read about one of them completely losing it and then killing their trainer/caretaker or running amok through the streets.

Of course, the outcome usually sides with the human and the animal is put down. You have to consider what could have led to this occurrence. Was it stress brought on by abuse? Transportation over long distances? Loud and unfamiliar surroundings? Separation anxiety?

What have the elephants performing at our fair experienced? The video that’s being circulated shows abuse. Is that still occurring?

How will the animals fare during transportation? Is there a possibility that one of the animals could break loose and run amok with the obvious consequences?

Perform an Internet search and see how many times this has happened. It is not uncommon. Do we want this to happen at our fair?

The use of animals for our entertainment is falling out of popularity for many reasons.

Actual abuse or the potential for it is apparent with supporting evidence by animal rights proponents, and for good reason.

The concerned citizens of Nevada County and beyond are voicing their feelings about elephants coming to the fair and should be heard. You don’t have to be a local to have an opinion either.

Some of us have only lived here for a short time, but all of us have been on this planet since we were born and can opine on issues that affect us all. Animals have no voice and we have to speak for them, too.

I vote for not having the elephants come to our fair, or any fair. Keep them in the wild, in sanctuaries or zoos. Do not use them for rides or performances.

Shelley Watten lives in Grass Valley.


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The Union Updated Jul 4, 2013 11:42PM Published Jul 5, 2013 11:57PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.