People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked Texas A&M to stop using live animals during the Elephant Walk tradition.
In an open letter to Texas A&M Interim President Mark Hussey on Thursday, the animal advocacy group challenged Hussey and student organizers to end elephant involvement in the senior ceremony to ensure student safety and stop what the group calls the exploitation of animals for entertainment purposes.
The group contends that “"The suffering that elephants used for entertainment are forced to endure is inexcusable, and this tradition is not worth maintaining,"
The Elephant Walk is an annual event that began in 1926, in which seniors walk around visiting campus landmarks the week before the last football game to replicate elephants who wander to look for a place to die when their value to the herd is over. This year’s 86th walk is scheduled for November 8th and Simpson Drill Field.
As of Thursday night, Texas A&M had not responded to the letter and a spokesman said they did not have a comment on PETA’s request