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Fair in Davenport learns state law bars elephant rides

August 3, 2018

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Elephant rides aren’t available as advertised as an attraction at the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport: State law won’t allow them.

Shawn Loter is in his second year as general manager of the fair, and he told the Quad-City Times that he was unaware of the ban until this week. The elephants from Carson & Barnes Circus from Oklahoma are back this year, and Loter says they were used for rides at last year’s fair.

The law forbidding handlers from offering rides was enacted in 2007. Iowa Agriculture Department spokesman Dustin VandeHoef says the state veterinarian alerted Loter’s office of the law after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals notified the state Tuesday that elephant rides were being advertised in the fair’s brochure.

Elephant handler Mychelle Omar says neither she nor her husband have offered rides this week. The fair opened Tuesday and is scheduled to close Sunday.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

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