Stop Cruel Animal Race at Agricultural Fair

Target: Martinsville Agricultural Fair President Alan Buckner

Goal: Stop the barnyard scramble, a terrifying event where animals are released into a pen and attendees try to catch them

Attendees to the annual Martinsville Agricultural Fair in Illinois race to catch animals released into a pen, which they then get to take home. The animals are frightened, mishandled, and sometimes injured before going to a home that is usually unequipped with the tools and knowledge to care for them.

Every year in Martinsville, children assemble to have a chance at catching their own pet rabbit, duck, or chicken. Pigs, goats, and other barnyard animals are also up for grabs. This mad scramble leads to animals being kicked, stepped on, and injured as they try to flee in terror. In the commotion, children and even staff pick the animals up by their necks, fur, ears, and limbs. Goats are grabbed by the horns and thrown to the ground. Pigs are dived upon in efforts to tackle them.

Winners of the barnyard scramble then get to take their catches home. The Martinsville Agricultural Fair does not provide food, tools, vaccinations, or care instructions to go with the animals. Oftentimes, participants have no knowledge of how to care for these barnyard creatures, and they are surrendered to local shelters.

Children are not informed beforehand of the proper ways to handle these animals, nor are they reprimanded for sometimes intentional improper treatment. The well-being of the creatures is forgotten in the excitement and oftentimes not properly attended to afterwards. Your signature will demand that the Martinsville Agricultural Fair be stop the the Barnyard Scramble.


Dear Mr. Alan Buckner,

Children at the annual Martinsville Agricultural Fair are allowed to race to catch barnyard animals such as ducks, rabbits, chickens, pigs, and goats. What is exciting for the children is frightening to the animals, and often results in mishandling and injury. Children captivated by the moment disregard the well being of the animals by kicking and stepping on the animals. Staff and children alike grab the animals by their fur, ears, necks, and limbs.

Children are not educated on how to properly handle animals before the scramble, nor are they informed how to care for the creatures. Tools and food are not provided, and winning families often are uninformed of the amount of money it takes to house and care for some of these animals. This results in the animals being mistreated by unqualified caregivers, who can neglect the needs of the pet or surrender them to a shelter.

The barnyard scramble not only distresses and injures animals, but sends children a message that terrorizing and mistreating animals is an acceptable form of recreation. I demand that you cut the barnyard scramble from the Martinsville Agricultural Fair.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Scott Becstead via Creative Commons

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