Target: Kevin Rasing, President Bremer County Fair
Goal: Shut down cruel event that promotes animal abuse
In a yearly event at the Bremer County Fair in Waverly, Iowa, small animals including rabbits, chickens, pigs, and calves are released into an arena where children are allowed to chase down the confused and frightened animals and catch them, with no regard for the safety or security of the animals involved. The children are then allowed the keep the captured animals as prizes.
Small children, aged three to five, are allowed to chase and capture rabbits. Rabbits are prey animals, and so a larger human chasing after them and catching them with rough and inexperienced little fingers is an absolutely terrifying scenario for the animals. It is the exact type of situation that all their fear impulses are built to react against, and they are trapped in an arena with no chance of escape. Furthermore, rabbits are extremely delicate and exotic pets that will easily and quickly die without proper nutrition and care, most of which the general population is woefully ignorant. Many of these scared little animals are essentially being sent to their slow and painful deaths.
Not only is this event cruel to the specific animals involved, but it also fosters an unhealthy attitude towards animals and promotes treating them like objects that do not feel pain or fear. This event teaches our youngest children that there is no need to respect or care for animals, that scaring them is simply a game and the animals themselves are the prize.
Iowa law prohibits giving animals as awards or prizes for participating in a game. While this law does not apply to the kind of 4-H club the Bremer County Fair is associated with, the animals are given out to children outside of the club as well. Please sign this petition to shut down this horrific and illegal event.
Dear Mr. Kevin Rasing,
It has come to my attention that the Bremer County Fair holds an annual event, called the Animal Scramble, in which small animals are released into an arena and then chased and caught by children, who then get to take the caught animals home as prizes.
Iowa law prohibits animals being given as prizes, and even if the Bremer County Fair is exempt from this law by a technicality, there is a very specific reason for the law’s existence. Giving animals to children and households who may or may not be equipped to care for the animal is cruel, especially after that animal has been hunted and terrified by the very same child who is taking it home.
Rabbits especially are delicate creatures with very specific needs. They are also prey animals that would be absolutely terrified to be chased by a larger animal.
This event is horrific and cruel. I demand that you stop it immediately, and that it absolutely does not occur this year on July 31.
Image Credit: Дмитрий Кузьмин via Wikimedia Commons