WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A call to ban elephant and camel acts at the Big E from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.

The organization would like to see all animal exhibits be a thing of the past at the Big E.

It all comes after concerns from viewers who have expressed frustration with some of the animal attractions.

PETA sent a letter to the Big E and President Gene Cassidy asking the fair ban traveling zoos.

Western Mass News spoke to a representative from PETA who is questioning why the fair keeps asking the traveling zoos to come back year after year.

By now, you've probably seen the videos posted to Facebook of Minnie the elephant at the Big E.

Days later, a video of a camel, which have both been shared thousands of times.

Many people fear the animals are being mistreated and should no longer be allowed to be used for profit.

Jonathan Di Leonardo works for PETA and told Western Mass News it's time for this to end.

"Immediately end camel rides and elephant rides and to follow the lead of other fairs who already ended exotic animal acts," said Di Leonardo.

He said PETA writes a letter every year asking the Big E to ban the exotic animal exhibits, but nothing ever happens.

Di Leonardo added there are many other fairs across the country that don't have animal acts.

"It's time for the Big E to take the next steps and follow the lead of these other fairs and listen to the progressive public. I think that's it never been more clear that the public is tired of the use and abuse of animal acts," he noted.

Aside from the camels and elephants, the Big E has other animal exhibits like inside the Farm-A-Rama building.

Di Leonardo said it's not their focus right now to end those.

"We're urging them to end the wild exotic animal acts. Get these suffering elephants off the concrete, end the camel rides, who are being forced to give rides when they're clearly exhausted," he continued.

The owners of the elephant and camel, R.W. Commerford told Western Mass News repeatedly that they are both in good health and properly cared for.

The Big E stands by their statement to Western Mass News saying in part:

"Eastern States Exposition and others are being targeted by activists who want to propagate a message that is untrue. Eastern States has no stress with the animals on the grounds and the way that they are cared for because we monitor their care ourselves."

"The fight is at the Big E but it's also not just there. We go to fairs where these shady animal exhibitors go and urge them to not contract with them again," Di Leonardo added.

Some state representatives like Angelo Puppulo have filed legislation to try and stop traveling zoos.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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