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Carlsberg Nixes Elephant Polo Sponsorship

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PETA India Proposes Teaming Up With Brewing Giant to Use Its Elephant Brand to Further Elephant Protection
 
For Immediate Release:

17 August 2011

Contact:

Dr Manilal Valliyate +91 9820947382; ManilalV@petaindia.org 

Sachin Bangera +91 22 40727382; SachinB@petaindia.org 

Jaipur, Rajasthan – After receiving an urgent letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and following a series of telephone conversations between PETA India and Carlsberg India executives, Søren Lauridsen, managing director of Carlsberg India Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of world-renowned Danish beermaker Carlsberg Group, announced that the company has now pulled its sponsorship of the Polo Cup, a hideous, much-criticised elephant polo match scheduled to be held in Jaipur on Sunday, 21 August. In its initial letter to the company – one of many received from concerned citizens and groups – PETA pointed out that captive elephants are routinely trained and disciplined with the use of ankuses (heavy rods that resemble fireplace pokers, with sharp metal hooks on the ends that are dug into the skin); deprived of everything that's natural and important to them, including family life; and cruelly kept shackled in chains when they're not performing. 

Replied Lauridsen, "After having heard and considered all view points, raised by you and various other stakeholders, we have decided to stop our association with this [elephant polo] event". He concluded, "We look forward to having a further positive dialogue with you". PETA is offering to work with Carlsberg to use its Elephant brand beer to promote elephant protection.

"Thanks to Carlsberg India's compassionate decision, a prestigious, world-renowned company has cast its vote against elephant polo", says PETA India Chief Functionary Poorva Joshipura, who notes that in 2010, Guinness World Records Ltd decided to remove all references to elephant polo records out of concern for the animals. "We would be pleased to work with Carlsberg to help make other companies aware of the suffering of captive elephants."

Although it is illegal to beat and torture animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, elephants used for work in India are trained through the constant threat of being beaten and gouged with ankuses. A Rajasthan High Court order prohibits the use of iron ankuses but still permits them to be carried, making enforcement of the order nearly impossible. As a result, iron ankuses may be removed or hidden for the duration of a polo match to avoid controversy. 

Carlsberg entered India in 2006 and now operates five breweries throughout the country. The company produced a combined 17 million hectolitres of Carlsberg Green, Carlsberg Elephant, Tuborg Green, Tuborg Strong and Palone 8 beer in 2010. 

PETA India's letter to Søren Lauridsen of Carlsberg India Pvt Ltd is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.

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