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Elephant Trainers Respond To PETA's Attack On New Spears Video

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elephants_britJust as we suspected might happen, PETA came full force after Britney Spears this week for the use of live animals in her recent music video titled ‘Circus’.

“In order to force elephants to perform silly tricks like those in the music video, trainers shock the animals with electric prods or gouge sharp, steel-tipped bull hooks into the most sensitive parts of the elephants’ bodies,” PETA’s press release reads. They then went on to single out the trainers of the elephants saying,”Gary and Kari Johnson … have gone so far as to defend the use of cruel electric prods on elephants.”

Now, the Johnsons are fighting back — insisting that not only do they care deeply about the welfare of their animals, but that an American Humane Association rep was on hand to ensure such treatment. From the article,

“My husband, Gary, and I do indeed have a long history with elephants. Our love of and infatuation with elephants started for both of us in our teens, 37 years ago. To say we care about elephant welfare is an understatement,” Kari Johnson wrote in a statement to MTV News. “Have Trunk Will Travel has never issued a written endorsement, nor does it condone using electrical devices to discipline and control elephants except in situations where elephant or human safety is at risk. PETA very conveniently used a sentence out of context from a USDA request for public comments regarding policies on elephants in 2000.”

“The American Humane Association monitors animal action in film and television. A representative was on the set of the Britney Spears ‘Circus’ video with our elephants, Tai and Kitty, to ensure their safety and welfare,” Johnson wrote. “Britney, the director, producers and the entire crew were respectful of the elephants’ needs and comfort and a pleasure to work with.”

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