Protect Elephants from Nail-Studded Beatings at Festival

Target: Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand

Goal: End the abusive treatment of performing elephants at a cultural festival in Thailand.

Ever since the 1960s, elephants have been made to parade and perform various tricks as part of the Surin Elephant Round-Up held in Thailand each November. While originally intended as a relatively modest demonstration of the bond between the people of Surin Province and their local elephants, it has over time evolved into a cruel spectacle where elephants are forced to engage in unnatural behaviors like playing soccer or throwing darts at balloons. According to advocacy groups, mahouts (elephant caretakers) use a variety of cruel methods to coerce the animals to perform. Bull hooks and nail-studded sticks are frequently employed to keep mature elephants in line, while the younger ones are subjected to confinement and beating to break their spirit.

Currently, around 200 elephants appear in the week-long festival. More are continually added as new baby elephants are kidnapped in the wild jungles of Burma to be used as future performers. Videos and pictures from past years’ events reveal that the elephants are kept chained together in cramped spaces when not performing. Many bear scars from the training, and appear to suffer from repetitive stress syndrome. There have also been reports of people riding elephants with blood streaming from their foreheads.

All of these acts constitute both physical and psychological torture to animals so renowned for their intelligence and sensitivity. It’s bad enough that they are made to perform repetitive and menial tasks, but the additional accounts of mistreatment are absolutely unconscionable. We can do better for these remarkable creatures, and should demand that the Surin Elephant Round-Up stop abusing elephants each year.


Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I’m writing to ask you to stop the abusive practices that take place as part of the annual Surin Elephant Round-Up in Surin Province. Although the festival is intended to honor the bond between humans and elephants, it sadly showcases that this relationship is in part based on mistreatment. The blatant displays of horrific abuse that have been captured on video and in photographs appear to show a disregard for the elephants’ well-being. Unfortunately, this is not where the abuse begins. It starts years before, when young elephants are kidnapped, confined and beaten into submission. From start to end, the elephants are subjected to pain and deprivation.

There must be an alternative way to honor elephants during this cultural festival. We demand that you take action to intervene on the elephants’ behalf and ensure that they no longer face this inhumane treatment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Marcin Nowak

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  1. Honorable Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand: Please show your People how to Respect these amazing Elephants by not allowing cruel and inhumane treatments to the Adult Elephants and the Baby Elephants. A Great Leader shows his People Generosity towards Animals and how to Appreciate the Animals. Please Teach Your People how to show Kindness to Animals and your People will treat each other and their Children Better too. Thank you.

  2. This kills me its got to stop this animal cruelty has gone too far

  3. the Jensens says:

    We will not stand by and watch while an
    An animal is being mistreated. They are
    to be protected. Or they will all be
    extinct. We are all ready killing them
    off one by one with climate change. And
    fur trade and ivory trade. It is time
    to stop the senseless killing of animals.
    Before it is to late.

    • “The only difference between a dog, cat, horse and dolphin and a cow, chicken, pig and turkey is perception. One is no more valuable than another. And yet in this culture, we hold the former animals in high esteem and the latter we brutalize for food. All animals are deserving of respect and freedom from violence. The way to respect others is veganism.”

    • Boycott this disgusting country. These elephants must be rescued and sent to a sanctuary where they have a life worth living. A curse on the owners, the handlers and the authorities who allow this barbarity and also the ignorant humans who pay to ride the elephants and watch the display. THE GREATNESS OF A NATION AND ITS MORAL PROGRESS CAN BE JUDGED BY THE WAY ITS ANIMALS ARE TREATED. Mahatma Gandhi
      Disgusting Thailand also eat dogs. I wouldn’t go there if you paid me and the same goes for China.

  4. Brenda Denno says:

    ALL these poor elephants who are tortured and cruelly abused should be immediately rescued and sent to good sanctuaries. ALL their cruel abusers should be arrested and prosecuted for their crimes.
    Animal cruelty is NEVER ok. Animal cruelty done to ENTERTAIN people is incredibly disgusting as well. What’s wrong with people anyway?! Have they no heart?

  5. I am greatly saddened and appalled to learn of the mistreatment and cruelty to these magnificent beasts for entertainment. You are so fortunate to have these majestic animals in your country and to abuse them in this ignorant fashion is unforgivable.I am disappointed in Thailand. I thought it was a humane country.

  6. “So many people insist they are against animal abuse, cruelty, suffering and the inhumane treatment of animals, yet they don’t understand they are actively engaging in and supporting egregious suffering, abuse, cruelty and inhumane treatment when they eat animals and their ‘by-products.’ If you are against cruelty, suffering and inhumane treatment, then you go vegan. It’s just that simple.” – Sarah Kiser

  7. Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand and other “high decision makers” in Thailand:

    It is high time you GREEDY people stop your archaic culture towards elephants. When will you ever learn that WILD ANIMALS are not entertainers???????? In the year 5017 ???????????? How about you guys walk on the streets wrapped up in blankets??????
    How about you people parade and perform various dumb tricks as part of the Surin Elephant Round-Up Parade??????????

    End the abusive treatment of performing elephants at a cultural festival in Thailand.

  8. Lisbeth Alvarado Sanchez says:

    When will people learn to respect animals and let them live free in their natural habitats. It is appaling what this poor elephants have to endure to entertain a bunch of sick morons. Stop this barbaric actions!

  9. Caryl Sawyer says:

    Maybe a few requests to our new orange president will make him cancel US dollars going to Thailand, a country notorious for animal abuse.

    I mailed my first letter to the Whitehouse this morning.

  10. Thai people used to be known worldwide for their kind and gentle nature. What happened? now they are known for their cruelty ?….

  11. Rosslyn Osborne says:

    Baha’i Writings ~ “To the blessed animals, however, the utmost kindness should be exercised: the more the better it will be. Man is generally sinful and the animal is innocent”….” the universe of God is a wonderful theatre upon the stage of which every created thing plays its part.”
    Hadith No. 557 ~ ”O Allah’s Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals? He replied: Yes, there is a reward for serving any animate.”
    Proverbs 12.10 ~ A righteous man has regard for the life of his animals.
    Psalm 34:16 ~ The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. God created all the animals
    Psalm 50:10 ~God cares for the animals. “Jesus said: ‘are not the five sparrows sold for two copper coins and not one of them is forgotten before God.
    Psalm 104 ~ All animals belong to God.
    The Bible repeatedly affirms that all creation participates in the praise of God, and each living thing has a part in God’s great purposes.
    Mahatma Gandhi ~ “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
    Buddha ~ “It is more important to prevent animal suffering, rather than sit to contemplate the evils of the universe praying in the company of priests.”
    Pythagoras ~ “For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

  12. The “training” of these magnificent animals for the amusement of humans is nothing short of torture. These are magnificent animals who should be revered, not tortured. THIS MUST STOP!


  14. Thailand should start licencing program to protect animals. It is amazing that the people
    of Thailand goes to temples
    but disconnected to
    the pain and suffering of animals,
    they have mo respect for them
    I am so glad to see this petition
    and hope that the priminister
    impliment rules againt this type
    of cruelty.

  15. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Fck these bastards❗?
    I’ll beat the sons of bitches with their own tools❗?
    Signed & Shared?

  16. This is horrific! Is the gentle Thai a myth??? Was in Thailand. Shrines everywhere – how does this compare with this atrocity?
    Buddhism teaches kindness to animals! Adhere to his teachings! Kneeling in front his statue and inflicting pain & torture to animals at the same time will not save you from eternal damnation!

  17. The prime minister needs beaten with nails so do those people that do it Stop this now arseholes. leave these animals alone.

  18. PLEASE — PLACE FIRST — THE NEEDS AND COMFORTS OF THE ELEPHANTS — it’s cruel and unconscionable to put elephants through such ordeals just so humans can be entertained and gratified at the expense of their well-being. — STOP THIS FESTIVAL NOW AND FOREVER. — Let’s be rational and compassionate — LET’S DO THE RIGHT THING — This is NOT a life for an elephant — let’s stop the exploitation & abuse — we OWE them this : let’s transfer THEM to Elephant Sanctuaries where they can live happily & comfortably — someone must intervene & speak for these majestic elephants — you see, they have no voice — WE are all they have — these beautiful animals need our protections & our caring.

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