There has been a lot of public discussion recently about the probity of offering elephant rides as an attraction at the county fair. While I am concerned with this issue, I feel another situation has come up in connection with this, which needs to be explored.
The fair board, in not responding to the arguments of the animal rights speakers at its last meeting, did a disservice to a fine Nevada County institution. One would assume that the board did due diligence in researching Have Trunk Will Travel, the provider of the elephant rides. Since they have entered into a contract with this company, we should be able to assume that their research showed that this is a fine organization with acceptable training programs for its elephants. If this is the case, what could possibly explain the board’s unwillingness to explain this to the members of the public? I can think of no reason other than that the board did not do that due diligence.
Furthermore, it lacked the courage to acknowledge that fact and to take action to rectify that omission.
Editors note: The fair board responded to the controversy through an open letter to the community, which was published in Tuesday’s edition of The Union and which can also be read online at http://www.theunion.com/news/7059693-113/fair-county-nevada-elephant