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Controversial pig scramble cut from Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition

These video still from last year’s pig scramble at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Bible Hill shows the animals being chased down and captured by kids.
These video still from last year’s pig scramble at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Bible Hill shows the animals being chased down and captured by kids.

BIBLE HILL, N.S. – A long-standing event at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition (NSPE), that has prompted an online petition against it, will not be held this year.

Ty Savoy, an animal activist from Lake Echo, told the Truro Daily News he started a petition Thursday afternoon as a way to convince NSPE officials to discontinue the annual pig scramble event.

By Friday morning, more than 500 supporters had signed the petition, a factor Savoy said gives clear indication of society’s changing attitudes regarding the negative treatment of animals.

However, NSPE manager Joe Nicholson, when informed about the petition, said a decision had already been made by NSPE officials to discontinue the event.

Although the 2017 events schedule for the Ex has not been determined, he said, the determination to cancel that particular event was made following a review of last year’s activities and the popularity of each one.

“There is no plan to have a pig scramble this year,” Nicholson said. “It wasn’t even a big event last year.”

The decision follows one recently made by the board of Westmorland Country Agricultural Fair, in Petitcodiac, N.B., to also end its pig scramble, after Savoy said an increasing number of people began voicing their concerns about how the piglets are treated.

“A piglet like that is capable of joy and they’re capable of suffering. It’s no more complicated than that,” he said.

“It’s unnecessary. You’re causing stress and harm to a little animal. These piglets are stressed like a human being would be, like a puppy would be,” he said. “They would suffer like us in those conditions (both mental trauma and potential physical injury).”

A video of last year’s scramble at the Ex, shows teenagers chasing the piglets, which are “screaming in fear,” Savoy said. Once the piglets are captured, they are carried by one or two hind legs as the competitors race to hand them over to an adult standing on a truck bed, who then places them in an enclosed container.

All the while, the audience can be heard laughing and cheering on the competitors.

Savoy said the event is simply teaching children to mistreat animals and is an outdated activity that should no longer be tolerated.

“Myself and others in the group are very happy that the pig scramble has been cancelled,” Savoy said, when informed of the NSPE’s decision. “We're not happy that they do still have a calf scramble and sheep rides at the Ex. They may not get as much attention, but objectively speaking, they're not any better than what's been done with the piglets.”

Ty Savoy, an animal activist from Lake Echo, told the Truro Daily News he started a petition Thursday afternoon as a way to convince NSPE officials to discontinue the annual pig scramble event.

By Friday morning, more than 500 supporters had signed the petition, a factor Savoy said gives clear indication of society’s changing attitudes regarding the negative treatment of animals.

However, NSPE manager Joe Nicholson, when informed about the petition, said a decision had already been made by NSPE officials to discontinue the event.

Although the 2017 events schedule for the Ex has not been determined, he said, the determination to cancel that particular event was made following a review of last year’s activities and the popularity of each one.

“There is no plan to have a pig scramble this year,” Nicholson said. “It wasn’t even a big event last year.”

The decision follows one recently made by the board of Westmorland Country Agricultural Fair, in Petitcodiac, N.B., to also end its pig scramble, after Savoy said an increasing number of people began voicing their concerns about how the piglets are treated.

“A piglet like that is capable of joy and they’re capable of suffering. It’s no more complicated than that,” he said.

“It’s unnecessary. You’re causing stress and harm to a little animal. These piglets are stressed like a human being would be, like a puppy would be,” he said. “They would suffer like us in those conditions (both mental trauma and potential physical injury).”

A video of last year’s scramble at the Ex, shows teenagers chasing the piglets, which are “screaming in fear,” Savoy said. Once the piglets are captured, they are carried by one or two hind legs as the competitors race to hand them over to an adult standing on a truck bed, who then places them in an enclosed container.

All the while, the audience can be heard laughing and cheering on the competitors.

Savoy said the event is simply teaching children to mistreat animals and is an outdated activity that should no longer be tolerated.

“Myself and others in the group are very happy that the pig scramble has been cancelled,” Savoy said, when informed of the NSPE’s decision. “We're not happy that they do still have a calf scramble and sheep rides at the Ex. They may not get as much attention, but objectively speaking, they're not any better than what's been done with the piglets.”

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