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14900 Pennsylvania Ave. Upper Marlboro MD, 20772 . CompassionWorks International is an IRS registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Elephants at Commerford Zoo at center of lawsuit; group contends they are unlawfully imprisoned. m_gallery_type = "photo"; Gallery: Photos: Seen@ The Big E at the R.W. "The elephants, camels and ponies are harnessed, loaded with spectators and then led around in circles for hours," the petition said. In her petition on change.org, Jessica M. says she first saw Beulah on a trip to the New Jersey State Fair. By Ben Lambert. She said Commerford Petting Zoo has 50 violations, accidents and injuries on file with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Th an k you to Pau l a nd S cot t for th e ir i m po r tant wor k . This inspection and exit interview were conducted with the licensee. Minnie is now alone, without the necessary companionship of other elephants, Fern writes. he ld t he 1st Mo nd ay of e ac h mo nth a t 8p m. Fo r mo re . Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo, Buelah gives rides to fairgoers and is, in every sense, the zoo's biggest attraction. Old noisy rides and games crammed into the DCU center along with many animals that clearly weren't being treated properly. The Commerford Zoo also used Beulah in commercials and theatrical performances, including a 1981 production of the Connecticut Operas Aida, staged at a sports arena. m_gallery = "photos_seen_the_big_e_at_the_rw_commerford_sons_traveling_petting_zoo"; Founded by Robert W. Commerford over 40 years ago, we here at the Commerford Zoo love bringing our animals and rides out to meet you! The travel and activity keeps her stimulated and zoo workers spend time with her outside of showtimes, Commerford said. She told me to share what I know. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). Her chewing appeared abnormal; she did not close her mouth normally to grind the hay. Old noisy rides and games crammed into the DCU center along with many animals that clearly weren't being treated properly. A call and email the David Lawrence Convention Center immediately and repeatedly and demand the cancellation of the Commerford Kids Fun Fair and Traveling Zoo! In an opinion piece for National Geographic, the president of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, which operates wildlife sanctuaries in California, took issuewith the use of bullhooks to control elephants' behavior. Published 12:00 am EST, Saturday, November 18, 2017 She emailed me a list of things that she had on file for the Commerford Zoo, including USDA citations and correspondence with cities that had decided to no longer allow this Zoo in their limits. This inspection and exit interview were conducted with the licensee. According to the NhRP, the Commerford Zoo has been cited by the USDA more than 50 times for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. He described protestors as misinformed about Buehla's living conditions, and said that the family is both emotionally and financially invested in her well-being. TORRINGTON A lawsuit filed Monday argues that three elephants at the Commerford Zoo in Goshen are legal persons with fundamental rights and must be released into a sanctuary. Care for an elephant is a constant job, he said. At the Commerford Zoo a traveling circus cited by the USDA more than 50 times for violating minimum standards of the Animal Welfare Act Beulah, Karen, and Minnie are forced to perform at circuses and fairs where they are required to give rides despite Beulahs painful foot disorder and Minnies aggression from years of psychological abuse that has resulted in her attacking handers and the public. For over 40 years, the state of Connecticut and the federal government allowed Beulah to suffer as the "property" of the Commerford Zoo, despite the business having been cited over 50 times for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Although the Commerford Zoo has been cited over 50 times for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including for failure to provide adequate veterinary care, and many people have observed the elephants being jabbed with sharp bullhooks, engaging in They also rent animals for parties, TV, ads, and mall openings. In demonstrating the use of the hook for a reporter, Commerford was gentle; more violent use of the tools has been capturedon videoby activist groups in other parts of the country, however. It is very demeaning and the camels are forced to do unnatural things. R.W. Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo has for Experts consulted by CWI have raised the possibility that there is some spinal issue, injury or malformation, causing this extraordinary gait, likely at the base of the neck. m_gallery_creation_date = "Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 1:18 PM"; It all began with some simple horse buying and selling, but soon we were showing up at local county fairs with rides and parade costumes on. com. Tim Commerford, owner of the Commerford Zoo, Karen, and Minnie of their freedom, which we see as an inherently cruel violation of their most fundamental right as elephants." "She's been in my family 43 years," Commerford said. Please call and email the Convention Center and demand it be canceled! Commerford & Sons Zoo Kids Fun Fair. The elephant has suffered for years from a foot disorder. You only use a hook on the back of a knee (to get an elephant to move forward). recipient: Commerford Zoo If you type in RW Commerford & Sons in Google Maps, it will take you to a small zoo in Connecticut. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. The violations date to 1989. Zoo m me etin g . Critics of keeping elephants in zoos argue that limited space, isolation and negative-reinforcement training are common in zoos and harmful to the animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animalshas also compiled a list of violations cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including problems with animal living situations, animal handling and scattered reports of injuries. m_gallery_id = "18869381"; The company is called Commerford Zoo. 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Improper chewing can lead to digestive issues and colic, due to elephants low gastrointestinal absorption rate. Loomis Bros Circus is touring with animals. m_gallery_permalink = "http://photos.masslive.com/4502/gallery/photos_seen_the_big_e_at_the_rw_commerford_sons_traveling_petting_zoo/index.html"; Despite these warnings and multiple deaths, the zoo has kept its license and continues to exploit elephants. Show Place Arena. USDA Complaint Filed Against Commerford After investigating the conditions of the animals at The Big E on September 25th and September 29th and consulting with elephant experts on our findings, CWI filed a complaint against RW Commerford and Sons with the USDA for violations 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo. BALTRUSH JAN, A C I USDA, APHIS, Animal Care ANIMAL CARE INSPECTOR 1011 23-MAR-2017 23-MAR-2017 "Animal activists and extremists will go out front here at The Big E, they'll go out there with there signs," Commerford said. R W Commerford & Sons Inc P O Box 188 Route 4 Goshen, CT 06756 R W COMMERFORD & SONS INC 2016082568179478 Insp_id JBALTRUSH No non-compliant items identified during this inspection. Elephants normally walk by lifting one leg at a time; Minnie, however, walks by moving simultaneous diagonal pairs of legs at once. Minnie is now alone, without the necessary companionship of other elephants, Fern writes. Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo"; Commerford has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. A petition for habeas corpus is pending in Tolland County, CT and on Sept. 25, 2018, an appeal was filed with the Appellate Court of Connecticut, seeking review of the lower courts dismissal. URGENT ACTION ALERT: Extremely Abusive Traveling Zoo Coming to Pittsburgh ! The hook slides into the grooves in the skin. Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Nearby, a disinterested handler held a bull hook in one hand while staring at the phone in his other. WORCESTER - There were no elephants at the R.W. The R.W. In a case involving three elephants (Beulah, Minnie, and Karen) held at the Commerford Zoo in Goshen, Connecticut, the NhRP files a petition for a common law writ of habeas corpus in Connecticut Superior Court, Litchfield County demanding the release of the elephants to a sanctuary. "It is time to stop treating animals as side shows and the best way to prevent this treatment is by eliminating R. W. COMMERFORD & SONS' platform to do so.". Minnie the elephant, who became famous after a photograph of her take at The Big E went viral, was also on site during our investigation. The farm is regulated by the USDA and regulated by state agencies like the Massachusetts Division of Wildlife and Fisheries, he said. wi th t he ho me l es s p op ul at i on. inf ormation, con tact scott@ helpsoo.com o r paul @ helpsoo.c om. Commerford Zoo holds Kids Fun Fairs, has a petting zoo, carnival games and rides, and private animal rentals. Here is just a sample of their long history of Animal Welfare Act violations. According to the NhRP, the Commerford Zoo has been cited by the USDA more than 50 times for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Commerford has received numerous violations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the care of their animals. We do not claim the Commerford Zoo is violating any animal welfare statutes, he said. CWI has requested that the USDA investigate further and take action, including ensuring that Minnie receives a complete veterinary examination in order to ascertain the cause of her jaw and gait issues. Last May, it failed to provide another elephant, named Beulahwho was also at The Big Ewith adequate veterinary care for overgrown cuticles, a condition that can predispose these animals to painful foot disease, which is a leading cause of death in captive elephants . The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited R.W. "She just likes being part of the family.". Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo Saturday like they do every time the zoo comes to town. She told me to tell this story. Commerford has received numerous violations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the care of their animals. His family's elephants are well cared for, Commerford said. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. "My dad purchased this elephant one month after I was born.". The possibility of brain injury, traumatic or otherwise, was also raised by our consultants, as was the possibility that this abnormality has resulted from extreme limitation of movement due to prolonged chaining or confinement in an extremely small space that didnt allow Minnie to take a full step. The zoos website says it has elephants, camels, ponies and more, and provides animals, rides and other amusements for "I think it's kind of silly, and I'll tell you why: because they don't know who we are, they don't know any of the other animal people around here. All rights reserved (About Us). She said Commerford Petting Zoo has 50 violations, accidents and injuries on file with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The petition's organizer posted on Tuesdaythat she had met with a Commerford & Son representative, and while still skeptical of the use of exotic animals at fairs now believes that the Commerford animals are well cared for. Witnesses reported seeing the pain in her eyes, her only comfort a small patch of grass in a concrete parking lot the day before she died 1. The Big E may be over, but animal rights advocates still have a bone to pick with the fair's petting zoo attractions. For years the Commerford & Sons traveling zoo, based out of Goshen, CT, has disturbed thousands by bringing elephants in questionable condition to The Big E fairgrounds in Massachusetts to be used as entertainment and attractions by the public. Commerford & Sons numerous times for failing to provide adequate veterinary care, for failing to maintain enclosures and transport trailers, for failing to have an attendant present during periods of public contact, Circus (has long history of serious violations) and the trainer is from Ringling Bros. R W Commerford & Sons Inc P O Box 188 Route 4 Goshen, CT 06756 R W COMMERFORD & SONS INC 2016082568179478 Insp_id JBALTRUSH No non-compliant items identified during this inspection. The death of one of the zoos elephants, Beulah , at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield last fall also was cited as She says protesting Commerford Zoo events, like the one this weekend, is meant to remind the public of their message against traveling petting zoos. A petition for habeas corpus is pending in Tolland County, CT and on Sept. 25, 2018, an appeal was filed with the Appellate Court of Connecticut, seeking review of the lower courts dismissal. Subscribe to MassLive.com. This is an entertainment fun fair with mechanical rides, animal rides (elephant/camel/pony), a petting zoo, and an exotic zoo. The violations date to 1989. Upper Marlboro MD 03/14-03/15/2020. I asked her what I could do to make peace in my heart, because I was such a wreck with guilt, shame, and sadness. "We've had her 43 years. Dec. 26, 2017 After investigating the conditions of the animals at The Big E on September 25th and September 29th and consulting with elephant experts on our findings, CWI filed a complaint against RW Commerford and Sons with the USDA for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. "As far as the violations, they're no different that if the health department was going to [a] restaurant," he said. Beulah spends up to 70 days at fairs, giving rides and traveling, and the rest of the year at the family's 50 acre farm. Animal rights activists regularly protest outside the petting zoo on weekend afternoons, Commerford said. 2. A Change.org petition asking The Big E to stop inviting the Commerford's zoo back to the fair, which has attracted over 5,000 supporters, describes their treatment of animals as exploitation. m_gallery_json = "https://blog.masslive.com/photogallery/4502/18869381.json"; Commerford prefers the term "elephant hook," or "guidestick," and said that taps and prods with the spiked canes are approved by the USDA and necessary to control elephants during rides. "Commerford What they are doing is depriving Beulah, Karen, and Minnie of their freedom, which we see as an inherently cruel violation of their most fundamental right as elephants. Commerford acknowledged that the zoo had been cited for violations by the USDA, but said many of the violations were for petty irregularities in feeding practices or enclosure maintenance. Theyre in perfect health. The Nonhuman Rights Project noted past complaints against the Commerford Zoo on its website, although not as the basis for the suit. The Fight Against Trophy Hunting Continues! Late st co u nt for B roward . PETAwhose motto reads, in part, that animals are not ours to use for entertainmentnotes that the USDA has cited Commerford for numerous animal-welfare violations, including public endangerment, improper feeding, failure to maintain enclosures and transport trailers, and failure to provide adequate veterinary care. Victory: Elephant Minnie Skips the Long Island Fair! Tax ID #46-4255305. The David L. Lawrence Convention Center is hosting the Commerford Kid's Fun Fair & Traveling Zoo on November 21st and 22nd, an abusive traveling zoo with numerous AWA violations. R.W. 102 reviews of Commerford & Sons "ABUSE / CRUELTY My son received free passes from his Kindergarten to what was billed as a family friendly traveling zoo in MA. WORCESTER - Animal-rights protesters picketed outside the R.W. The company is called Commerford Zoo. Commerford acknowledged that the zoo had been cited for violations by the USDA, but said many of the violations were for petty irregularities in feeding practices or enclosure maintenance. She is also a magnet for controversy, with animal rights activists protesting the zoo's use of the animal as mistreatment. The most recent was in Continue to encourage The Big E to do away with wild animal acts by signing and sharing our petition. A Bit of Our History. Animal rights groups do not see it that way. kids fun fairs; our animals; games & rides; private rentals; about us; safari amusements; Coming Events 2020! September 27, 1997: The USDA cited Commerford for failure to maintain enclosures, failure to have an attendant present in the petting zoo, and failure to provide veterinary care to an ill goat. BALTRUSH JAN, A C I USDA, APHIS, Animal Care ANIMAL CARE INSPECTOR 1011 23-MAR-2017 23-MAR-2017 The event was dirty to say the least. The Commerford Zoo did not return a request for comment. m_gallery_blog_id = "4502"; Children were witnessed roughly handling the animals, animals were climbing fences causing risk to animal and visitors, a donkey stuck his head through a cage and required the assistance of a visitor to bring him back within the confines of his pen, and animals being fed food from the ground. The violations date to 1989. Also, Minnies gait is extremely concerning. Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo. She said Commerford Petting Zoo has 50 violations, accidents and injuries on file with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Webs i te is w w w.helpsoo. Photos: Seen@ The Big E at the R.W. She said Commerford Petting Zoo has 50 violations, accidents and injuries on file with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. m_gallery_pagetype = "embed"; Commerford has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. 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