Urge Fair to Refuse Cruel Animal Labor


Target: Eugene J. Cassidy, President of the Eastern States Exposition organization

Goal: Refuse to host petting zoos and elephant rides from the notoriously abusive R.W. Commerford and Sons Traveling Petting Zoo

The Eastern States Exposition, also known as “The Big E,” is a massive statewide fair that will take place in Massachusetts throughout the month of September 2014. Event planners have scheduled petting zoos and elephant rides from R.W. Commerford and Sons Traveling Petting Zoo, a company widely-known for its animal cruelty. Sadly, these animals are not the only ones affected by negligent staff; previous elephant rides hosted by Crommerford workers have resulted in numerous human injuries as well.

According to animal rights organization PETA, Commerford has a long track record of health and safety violations and public endangerment. One of four such incidents involved “A Commerford employee [provoking] an elephant who was giving rides by striking her in the face, resulting in injuries to two people.” The PETA website lists over two dozen citations from the United States Department of Agriculture for various abusive behaviors, such as denying animals proper veterinary care. Bob Commerford, the founder and owner of the barbaric petting zoo, is a staunch supporter of animal cruelty, vocally opposing legislation that would outlaw bullhooks and electric pokers as elephant training tools.

Sign the following petition and urge fair organizers to refuse Commerford’s services. Tell Eastern States Exposition’s president that people can be entertained without cruel animal labor.


Dear Mr. Cassidy,

“The Big E” is one of Massachusetts’ largest events, setting a record attendance of over 1 million people in 2013. Your unbridled success means you have a certain reputation to uphold and your high attendance means you are responsible for many patrons. For this reason, I urge you to reconsider hosting R.W. Commerford and Sons Traveling Petting Zoo, which has been cited countless times for animal cruelty and public endangerment. Their elephant rides are especially dangerous, having injured multiple people in the past due to employee negligence.

According to PETA, Commerford has had four accidents involving human injury. In one incident, “A Commerford employee [provoked] an elephant who was giving rides by striking her in the face, resulting in injuries to two people.” The petting zoo has been cited over 24 times by the USDA for inhumane violations such as denying veterinary care to ailing animals and failing to transport them safely. In addition, zoo animals have the potential to transmit tuberculosis or E. coli to people, an incident which recently occurred at a petting zoo in August 2014 and resulted in five people being hospitalized.

Because of the inherent animal abuse and public safety risks, I urge you to refuse Commerford’s animal services. Please, entertain the lively citizens of Massachusetts, not cruel animal labor.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: vastateparksstaff via Wikimedia Commons

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