Carlsberg Nixes Elephant Polo Sponsorship

For Immediate Release:
17 August 2011
Sandra Smiley 0207 357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]
London – After receiving an urgent letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and following a series of telephone conversations between the group and Carlsberg India executives, Søren Lauridsen, managing director of Carlsberg India Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of world-renowned beermaker Carlsberg Group, announced that the company has now pulled its sponsorship of the Polo Cup, a much-criticised elephant polo match to be held in Jaipur, India, this weekend.

In its initial letter to Carlsberg India – one of many the company has received from concerned citizens and groups – PETA India pointed out that captive elephants are routinely trained and disciplined with the use of ankuses (heavy rods that resemble fireplace pokers, with sharp metal hooks on the ends) that are dug into the skin. Captive elephants are also deprived of everything that is natural and important to them and cruelly kept shackled in chains when they’re not performing.
Replied Lauridsen, “After having heard and considered all view points, raised by you and various other stakeholders, we have decided to stop our association with this [elephant polo] event”. He concluded, “We look forward to having a further positive dialogue with you”. PETA India is offering to work with Carlsberg to use its Elephant brand beer to promote elephant protection.
“Thanks to Carlsberg India’s compassionate decision, a prestigious, world-renowned company has cast its vote against elephant polo”, says PETA UK Vice President of International Affairs Poorva Joshipura. “PETA India would now be pleased to work with Carlsberg to help make other companies aware of the suffering of captive elephants.”
Carlsberg India follows other companies in making the compassionate move to stop supporting this saddening “sport”. In January, London-based Guinness World Records Ltd removed all references to elephant polo records from its iconic book Guinness World Records after learning from PETA UK that many of the elephants used for polo have been taken from their families in the wild and subjected to a life of chronic physical ailments, social and emotional deprivation and premature death.