Thursday, December 10, 2009

PETA Wants ChristmasVille To Cancel Horse-Riding Chimps

chimp balletThe animal advocate's group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals asked ChristmasVille organizers to scrap the horseback-riding chimpanzees from today's holiday festivities in downtown Rock Hill.

The show, however, went on as planned.

ChristmasVille organizers defended the decision to present “Chimpfabulous.”

“We research very carefully any vendors that we allow in city events,” city of Rock Hill spokeswoman Lyn Garris said. “It's an honorable group of people. The animals are well treated. We're comfortable that we've made a good decision.”

Garris said planners took time to interview the performers before hand, do online searches about them and background checks. Garris on Saturday didn't have figures showing what it cost to hire the group.

A PETA representative couldn't be reached Saturday.

Friday night, the group posted a message on ChristmasVille's Facebook page asking people to contact organizers about canceling the chimps. The post was later removed from ChristmasVille's page on the social networking site.

"On Saturday, December 5, organizers of the ChristmasVille festival in Rock Hill, South Carolina, plan to host a cruel event in which chimpanzees are forced to ride horses for spectators' entertainment," the post states. "Chimpanzees used in the entertainment industry are forcibly separated from their mothers while they are often still nursing infants. ... Training baby chimpanzees almost always includes physical abuse to ensure that the animals live in fear and know that the trainer is 'boss.'"

Full story here.

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