Thailand’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament Is No More!
Following a PETA Asia campaign and its eyewitness exposé of the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand, Minor International PCL founder and Chair William E Heinecke has announced that he is “fully supportive” of the recent decision by the Thailand Elephant Polo Association – the main governing body behind the tournament – not to seek permission for a 2019 tournament and to cease its operations in Thailand. These elephant polo games are no more!
The shocking footage released earlier this year by PETA Asia shows handlers repeatedly beating elephants used in the event at the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort. The video reveals that handlers beat and jabbed the captive elephants’ heads with bullhooks – weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a long, sharp metal hook on one end – violently pulled the animals by their sensitive ears, and left them without access to shade in sweltering temperatures of up to 33 degrees. One handler can be seen hitting an elephant on the head approximately 15 times, apparently drawing blood.
Angus Energy, the Campari Group, Ecolab, Johnnie Walker, Leading Quality Assurance, the Piaggio Group (maker of Vespa scooters), and PwC all informed PETA that they’ll no longer support the cruel tournament.
In a statement, the Campari Group said, “The Group condemns any form of violence and mistreatment towards animals and for this reason has decided to immediately suspend its sponsorship of the event.”
By withdrawing their sponsorship, these companies set a positive example for those that still support such abusive spectacles to follow. Elephants belong in the wild, not on polo fields, where they’re forced to obey confusing commands under the constant threat of punishment.
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