Protest the Ostrich Festival
Action Alert from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Their Turn
March 2015

ACTION

From March 13th – 15th, approximately 300,000 people will travel to Chandler, Arizona, to watch ostriches being abused and exploited during the city’s annual Ostrich Festival. For three days, jockeys will climb onto the backs of ostriches; grab them by their wings and feathers; and force them to run around a track in front of cheering spectators. They will also hook the birds up to chariots to race them.

Sign the Change.org petition created by Phoenix activist Tina Riedel demanding that the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and Universal Fairs Stop Using Ostriches for Entertainment.

Chandler Chamber of Commerce President
Terri Kimble
terri@chandlerchamber.com

Special Events & Program Manager
Brianne Marr
Brianne@chandlerchamber.com

Comment on Facebook page of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

From March 13th – 15th, approximately 300,000 people will travel to Chandler, Arizona, to watch ostriches being abused and exploited during the city’s annual Ostrich Festival. For three days, jockeys will climb onto the backs of ostriches; grab them by their wings and feathers; and force them to run around a track in front of cheering spectators. They will also hook the birds up to chariots to race them.

ostrich races
Ostrich Festival in Chandler, Arizona
(photo:
hafterglow-spins.livejournal.com)

According to the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the festival, “ostrich races captivate audiences with their crazy riders and unexpected animal behavior.”

ostrich races
Ostrich tramples jockey during race
(photo: Joshua Lott/Reuters)

According to PETA, ostrich races harm ostriches, “subjecting them to rough handling amid chaos and screaming crowds” in events that “cause them fear and stress and can result in serious injuries.”

The Association of British Travel Agents, whose Animal Welfare Guidelines discourage customers from attending ostrich races, agrees: “The ostrich skeleton is not designed to support a jockey’s weight on its back.”

ostrich races
Ostriches are not designed to carry humans
(photo: Joshua Lott/Reuters)

The company that produces the festival, Universal Fairs, describes it as a “family event.” In addition to ostrich racing, the festival offers carnival rides, entertainment and “spectacular food,” including ostrich burgers and jerky. Also on sale at the festival are ostrich leather products, hand-painted ostrich eggs, and dusters made from ostrich feathers.

ostrich races
Can the ostriches forced to race smell their friends being cooked?
(photo: TheKitchenFairy)

These medieval ostrich races, which began in 1989, are not a focus of the animal rights community, but that wasn’t always the case. In 1995, 35 members of Arizona People for Animal Rights (APAR) entered the festival grounds with posters and distributed over a thousand pamphlets. Three of the activists were arrested after handcuffing themselves to the announcer’s podium and chanting, “There’s No Excuse For Animal Abuse!”


For more information about Ostriches and Emus, who are members of the oldest living family of birds on earth, known as ratites, or flightless fowl, please visit United Poultry Concern (UPC) page on Ostriches & Emus.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!


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