Regina DeFalco Lippert: Skip the zoo at the Big E

Published: 9/24/2021 10:05:31 AM

The Commerford & Sons Traveling Zoo is again at The Eastern States Exposition for The Big E. It’s heartbreaking to know that a zoo with such a long list of Animal Welfare Act violations is allowed to stay in business, not to mention be at The Big E each year.

Commerford’s long list of dangerous animal incidents and citations makes the zoo not just inhumane, but unsafe. These citations include failure to: provide adequate veterinary care, maintain enclosures and transport trailers, have an attendant present during periods of public contact, and maintain sanitary conditions.

In the past 28 years, this zoo has violated the USDA’s AWA regulations 43 times, and has had five violent and dangerous incidents.

The Commerford Zoo includes monkeys, a zebra, kangaroo, and nearly 200 other animals, many of which are from tropical climates. The elephants and camels are forced to give rides while being painfully stabbed with bullhooks. Even in the best of circumstances, such captivity is agonizing for animals meant to roam free, with the constant stress of close confinement, boredom, loneliness, and denial of all normal pleasures and behaviors.

Forced to travel from site to site in small barren quarters, many suffer from severe stress. Signs of mental distress (swaying, head-bobbing, pacing, and bar-biting) in Commerford’s animals are often seen, especially in elephants.

The animals of the Commerford Zoo are wild animals that deserve a life free from the stresses of unnatural confinement and constant transportation — they should be released to sanctuaries. Animals are not for human entertainment. Please do not attend the Commerford Zoo, and urge the Big E to no longer host them. You can have a good time without contributing to the abuse of animals. Only when people stop patronizing these abusive “entertainments” will they be forced to shut down.

Regina DeFalco Lippert

Westhampton




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
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