South African Embassy Target Of

For Immediate Release:
February 16, 1999

Toni Vernelli: 01273 508 384


London — “Bloody” activists will confront South African Embassy officials to protest the possible export of more abused baby elephants to Japan. The elephants have been the focus of a high profile case that has caused worlwide outrage over the trade in wild-caught elephants. PETA recently stopped shipment of 10 babies to China after informing the South African government of a litany of animal deaths in Chinese zoos.

Members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), their hands covered with red paint, will drive home the point that anyone who deals in the violent business of trading wild animals has blood on their hands:

Date: Wednesday, 17th February
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Place: South African Embassy, Trafalgar Square

PETA has enlisted help from the Spice Girls, singer Chrissie Hynde, and Richard Pryor; all of whom have appealed to President Nelson Mandela for the elephants’ release and an end to the African elephant slave trade. Court testimony from elephant experts about the beating, hobbling, and deprivation of food, water, and sleep of the baby elephants by the Italian animal trader who captured of the babies prompted a South African magistrate to grant custody of the elephants to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) in Johannesburg. After being pressured by quasi “conservation” groups in South Africa, the same magistrate allowed animal trader Richard Ghiazza to ship 7 of the baby elephants to German and Swiss zoos.
Criminal cruelty charges are still pending against Ghiazza and stem from the treatment of the elephants at the hands of hired Indonesian trainers. During the court’s inspection of the elephants, a trainer was found beating an elephant with a piece of wood with sharp nails protruding from it.

“It’s 1999, time to shut down the African elephant slave trade!” says PETA Europe’s Director Ingrid Newkirk.