Target: Dale McClure, president of Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society
Goal: Stop endangered lemurs from participating in exploitative fair exhibits and races
From August 21 to August 24, 2014, Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair is set to feature cruel lemur exhibits and races. Lemurs are a severely endangered species and forcing them to participate in such exploitative acts could do the opposite of what the exhibits intend, which is raise awareness and preserve the species. Despite knowing the risks involved with these inhumane displays, the venue plans to continue its “Winners Circle Lemur Encounter” as scheduled.
Animal welfare group PETA outlines the contrary effect the exhibit may have, stating, “Displaying endangered animals in unnatural environments…leads to the false impression that the animals’ continued existence is not in jeopardy.” In addition, the mishandling of fair animals and the venue’s reportedly dirty facilities could seriously imperil the already fragile creatures.
The fair will also feature six lemur races per day. For the event, lemurs will be forced through tiny plastic tubes where they must scurry frantically. This is probably very stressful for the highly sensitive creatures, which are easily frightened and have injured children out of fear in the past. In fact, the “Winners Circle” owner has been previously cited by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) for not maintaining safe distances between the crowd and the lemurs, a failure that once lead to a toddler being bitten.
It is clear that the fair seeks to entertain rather than educate. Sign the following petition to demand that live lemurs be excluded from the agricultural fair. Tell the venue’s board of directors to truly save these animals by canceling the harmful exhibits.
Dear Mr. McClure,
Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair is slated to feature exploitative lemur exhibits and races. Lemurs are an endangered species and also highly sensitive creatures; exposing them to large, noisy crowds and forcing them into physical activities is extremely stressful and cruel. Ultimately, the events pose serious safety risks for both the animals and the public.
The goal of the exhibit is to raise awareness and promote the preservation of these jeopardized creatures. Based on the descriptions of planned activities, it seems your main goal is entertainment, not education. PETA reports that each day, the fair will feature six races in which lemurs will be stuffed into airtight plastic shoots and forced to run. Such a traumatic incident can lead to injury of both lemurs and people. In fact, the owner of the lemur exhibit has been cited in the past for failing to safely isolate the creatures, leading to a 3-year-old child being bitten.
To truly save these animals, you must keep them protected at all times. Please respect the feebleness of the lemur species and cancel the upcoming lemur events at the agricultural fair.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: 文子言木 via Wikimedia Commons