Stop Sponsoring Cruel Elephant Polo Event

Target: Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo PLC

Goal: End all corporate sponsorship for an annual polo tournament that exploits and abuses elephants for human entertainment.

The annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand is considered a prestigious event in which two teams of elephants are ridden by human jockeys as a variant of the traditional equestrian sport. In this version, however, handlers known as mahouts rely on a variety of abusive tactics, including beating the animals with sharp bullhooks or pulling on their ears in order to direct them and keep them in line. Demand that major corporate sponsors, such as Johnnie Walker whisky (owned by Diageo PLC) withdraw their support immediately.

In a recently released video from PETA, one of the mahouts appears to beat an elephant using a bullhook over a dozen times, until the animal begins to bleed profusely. The film also documented other instances where trainers used metal rods to pull at the elephants’ delicate ears in order to inflict pain and cause them to comply with commands. All this is done simply to provide an amusing spectacle for people to watch, all while the elephants endure years of harsh treatment and abusive training.

Major global corporations provide significant support for events such as this through their continued sponsorship. Sign this petition and demand that Diageo, the world’s largest alcoholic distiller, withdraw its support and all branding from this cruel tournament.


Dear Mr. Menezes,

Elephants are the main feature of the world-famous King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament held in Bangkok each year, yet they are suffering greatly as the result of human selfishness and greed. Your company’s sponsorship, including the prominent branding for products such as Johnnie Walker, is supporting an event that is steeped in cruelty.

In order to get elephants to participate in this sport, handlers resort to inhumane training methods, including beating the animals with bullhooks and pulling at their ears with metal rods. Video footage has shown that the beatings are so severe that the mahouts do not stop even when the creatures begin to bleed.

We urge you to consider whether or not this treatment is something you feel your company and its products should endorse. Please withdraw all corporate sponsorship, branding, and any other support from this event immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Roderick Elme

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  1. Derinda Nilsson says:

    This is sick and insane. STOP THE CRULITY !!!! Why am I not surprised Tailand. Poor elephants. And Jonnie Walker you should be ashamed for sponsoring this rotten act of abuse. DISGUSTING!!

  2. This cannot be considered sport when the elephants have no voice in what the players and handlers do to them. Just as pony polo and bullfighting are not sports due to the unfair advantage given to the pain heaped down on the animals. It is past time that all animals are freed from being so cruelly used by those whose concern with monetary gain is paramount.


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