Animal rights activists to protest at Chandler Ostrich Festival

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Protests opposing the cruel and abusive ostrich races will be held at the Chandler Ostrich Festival this coming weekend on March 10th, 11th, and 12th 2017.

Protesters representing United Poultry Concerns and Arizona Vegan Animal Liberation Activists are urging the Chandler Chamber of Commerce to eliminate the ostrich races – both the chariot style and the rodeo style – and focus instead on attractions that reflect Chandler’s evolving high-tech industry and the public’s growing interest in digital attractions and exciting human performers, such as acrobats, dancers and stage artists.

Once said to draw 250,000 visitors, the festival now attracts about 100,000 visitors, according to the Chandler Chamber of Commerce.

Public interest is dwindling in staged performances featuring animals forced to act unnaturally, as witnessed by the demise of Ringling Bros. circus. Rather than cling to relics of the past, the Chamber should take stock and get out of the animal entertainment business.


Ostriches – the oldest living birds on earth – are designed to roam vast desert spaces and survey the land with their brilliant eyes in all directions at once. In their natural habitat, ostriches are dignified birds devoted to their families.

By contrast, the ostrich races strip ostriches of their dignity, make them look silly, and put them in danger. Ostriches are not suited by temperament or anatomy to pull chariots and carry riders. Their large fragile eyes, long legs and necks can be easily injured – and whatever injuries they sustain are hidden from view as the ostriches are whisked away immediately as soon as the show is over.

“These races send a dangerous message, especially to children: That it’s fun to force animals to do things against their will if somebody finds it entertaining. Instead we should be teaching our children to respect animals and protect them, not frighten them and put them in harmful displays for our entertainment,” says protest organizer Robert Franklin.

For these reasons, United Poultry Concerns and Arizona Vegan Animal Liberation Activists will protest the ostrich races with brochures and posters this weekend. Protesters will respectfully talk with attendees and urge the Chandler Chamber of Commerce to retire the ostrich races permanently from the festival and use that space for innovative non-animal entertainment that is likely to attract whole new generations of festivalgoers.

United Poultry Concerns and Arizona Vegan Animal Liberation Activists promote the compassionate and respectful treatment of birds and all animals.