Following PETA’s shocking exposé of the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand, the organizing body of the event, the Thailand Elephant Polo Association, has announced that it will not seek to hold another tournament and will end its operations in the country. The event took place at a venue owned by the Minor Hotel Group, which supports the association’s decision and has reportedly initiated plans to raise funds for elephants in ways that don’t harm them.
BREAKING VICTORY: Following @PETAAsia's shocking exposé of the King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in #Thailand & 12 sponsors dropping their support, Thailand Elephant Polo Association won't seek permission for a 2019 tournament & ceased its operations! ? https://t.co/XCEAQ6avf9 pic.twitter.com/YNMVsscGK0
— PETA Asia (@PETAAsia) October 30, 2018
PETA’s exposé revealed that elephants are abused in training as well as repeatedly beaten and gouged with sharp, metal-tipped bullhooks during the polo “game.” The only way to force them to tolerate carrying humans on their backs for games or any other reason is to “break” their spirits first. They’re chained or otherwise immobilized and beaten relentlessly with bullhooks and other weapons in a process that can last days or even weeks. And those used for polo games, rides, shows, and other forms of entertainment are typically deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them, including the opportunity to roam free, as they’re kept shackled when they’re not performing.
After PETA released its investigation, a dozen sponsors agreed to sever ties with the event, including Angus Energy, Banfi, the Campari Group, Ecolab, IBM, Johnnie Walker, and Vespa. PETA is offering to assist Minor Hotels in organizing animal-friendly fundraisers.
What You Can Do
Tourists’ money helps drives this abusive industry. Please, if you travel to Thailand or anywhere else that elephant polo matches are held or elephant rides are offered, refuse to support this cruelty.