DURHAM, Conn. (AP) _ The Durham Fair is going ahead with plans for a new event featuring elephants despite a petition drive calling for the show’s cancellation.

The petition, launched by Rachel Mann and signed by more than 3,000 people, claimed the Durham Fair Association was supporting the mistreatment and exploitation of elephants.

Mann presented her petition to fair officials at a closed meeting Wednesday night, and members then voted to keep the event, the Middletown Press (http://bit.ly/16eqNeH) reported.

The fair is scheduled to run Sept. 26 to 29 at the fairgrounds in the central Connecticut town of Durham.

The petition claimed that the animal provider, William Morris of Elephant Encounter, had been cited by the U.S. Agriculture Department for failure to provide adequate care to two elephants. But Morris told the Press he has had no issues for non-compliance over the past decade and regularly gets unannounced inspections to ensure the elephants’ well-being.

Durham Fair Association officials said Elephant Encounter was chosen for its educational value and they are convinced the animals are treated well.

Mann said she was disappointed by the decision and was considering launching a fund to help end the exploitation of elephants.


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