After a shocking PETA Asia exposé showed elephants being beaten for Anantara Resort’s 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand, Australian sponsor Sunraysia has informed PETA that it will no longer support the event.
In a letter to PETA, Sunraysia CEO Anthony Davie stated:
We are distressed by the footage and strongly condemn the mistreatment of elephants that it shows. … Now that you have brought this matter to our attention, we will be discontinuing our sponsorship of the King’s Cup Elephant Polo event.
The footage shows handlers in a holding area next to the polo grounds repeatedly beating and jabbing the captive elephants’ heads with bullhooks – weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook on one end – which they also used to pull the animals by their extremely sensitive ears.
Elephants used for polo tournaments, rides, or any other type of entertainment endure violent training to force them into submission, with regular beatings. Between matches, they’re often shackled so tightly that they can barely take a single step.
Elephants belong in the wild, not on polo fields, where they’re forced to obey confusing commands under threat of punishment.
By withdrawing its sponsorship, Sunraysia has set a positive example for other companies that still support such abusive spectacles to follow. Other Australian companies, including The Coffee Club, Pelago Luxury, and Downia are still event sponsors.
Tourism company Tiger Tops, the organiser of the International Elephant Polo Competition, also recently announced that it would stop hosting the event in order to take a stand against cruelty to animals. In 2011, London-based Guinness World Records Ltd. removed all references to elephant polo from the Guinness World Records books because of the abuse that elephants endure for these events.
Please ask The Coffee Club to stop supporting these cruel “games.”
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