Montpelier, Ohio — PETA has sent an urgent letter calling on the organizers of the Williams County Fair to cancel elephant rides that are scheduled to be provided tomorrow through September 14. As PETA points out in its letter, the exhibitor offering the rides, Hugo Liebel of the notorious Liebel Family Circus, has been repeatedly cited and penalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for denying adequate veterinary care to Nosey, the elephant forced to carry fairgoers on her back, as well as for other violations. Liebel has also been cited and penalized for repeatedly allowing dangerous, unsupervised public contact with Nosey, who attacked and sent a worker to the emergency room in 2004.
PETA has also posted an action alert on its popular website encouraging visitors to contact fair organizers and urge them to follow in the compassionate footsteps of other venues that have canceled plans to host Liebel after learning of his history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
“No matter how many times he gets caught, Liebel continues to thumb his nose at animal welfare and public safety,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “If the Williams County Fair hosts this cruel outfit, it will virtually be underwriting animal abuse and public endangerment.”
Liebel was recently ordered to pay a $7,500 penalty to settle nearly three dozen charges of violations of the AWA. These charges included repeatedly chaining Nosey so tightly that she could barely move and denying her necessary veterinary care. According to USDA records, Liebel has failed to treat Nosey’s chronic skin condition adequately over a 20-year period. Despite a growing collection of federal violations, he continues to deny her the care that she needs—instead transporting her all over the country and forcing her to give rides.