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Letter to the editor
Fair should not have included animal shows
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Forsyth County News
I write to you with some dismay over your editorial concerning the Cumming Country Fair & Festival as well as my recent visit with my 6-year-old son.  

I agree with the large majority of your comments in regards to the fair and fairgrounds being an asset to our community, despite being housed next to the Tyson chicken processing facility.  However, you state that “Parents can comfortably take their children without concern for them being exposed to anything that might be inappropriate ...”

This year the fair made a major change in its entertainment choice for patrons, by bringing an elephant and tiger show. You mention the “city’s emphasis on safety and security.” How does that statement make sense in light of an elephant that is only restrained by metal security gates. Is the city not aware of the many instances of circus and/or zoo animals getting away and causing injury to patrons?  

Regardless of safety, these animals were not born to perform for humans. Nor to be transported in small cages and displayed for our enjoyment.
Such animals do not perform tricks without being subjected to abuse. When I went to the circus on Sunday, the trainer actually held a bullhook in the ring during the elephant’s performance.  

PETA, the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the U.S. have covered animal abuse at Ringling Bros. and many other circuses has made this clear to the general public. What a shame that the organizers of the fair had to change from entertainment such as the BMX Bike show. It would be far more responsible of the Forsyth County News to protest this change in entertainment.  

I noticed that early on in the promotion of the fair, these animal shows were prominently advertised. Then, close to the fair opening, the ads instead focused on the performers. Perhaps the fair’s organizers realized that promoting the animal shows was going to create negative feedback.

It pains me to point this out, because we have always loved the fair, and as residents of Cumming, hope that this will be a one time occurrence that will be quickly rectified.

Gurdon W. Hornor