Why tourists should boycott Thailand

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 November, 2002, 12:00am

On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) I wish to reply to the letter from the Thai Consul-General, Sihasak Phuangketkeow ('Thai authorities support protection of elephants', South China Morning Post, November 19), regarding Peta's campaign to end the abuse of baby elephants in Thailand.

Peta does not usually call for boycotts of entire countries, but after much deliberation, realising that baby elephants are suffering hideously purely for Thailand's tourist trade, we decided that we must. Still-nursing baby elephants are dragged from their mothers, trussed with ropes and steel cables, and savagely beaten for days. Villagers shove nails down the elephants' ears, slice their heads with blades, and strike them with nail-studded sticks.

After a week of this, the elephants are covered with wounds, their bodies oozing blood and pus. The terrified and traumatised babies are then sold to 'elephant camps', where they are forced to perform circus tricks and give rides to tourists.

Peta will continue to call for a tourist boycott of Thailand until the government enacts laws to ban this senseless cruelty.

To learn how you can help, or to view our elephant footage, please visit Peta's Web site (PETA.org).


Peta Asia Representative