At 151 years, the Lombardy Agricultural Society’s annual fair is older than our nation. But this year’s edition will have a notable omission — the pig scramble is scrapped.
“Websites from here and there — stating how cruel it was to the baby pigs and so on,” Lombardy Agricultural Society member, John Joynt said. “Without any information, we were kind of shocked.”
The board’s decision to scrap the popular event, which features children chasing and tackling young piglets, was first contemplated last year when animal rights activists protested outside the fairgrounds.
But the pressure to remove the popular livestock game increased in the past few months from a group named ‘Toronto Pig Save’.
“Children should be taught compassion,” said Anita Krajnc, founder of Toronto Pig Save. “I think it’s natural for children to want to help an animal in distress. I don’t think it’s right for adults to set up programs where kids are causing piglets distress.”
The Agricultural Society has since cancelled next month’s pig scramble. But despite that, board members with the Lombardy Agricultural Society continue to be harassed, receiving phone calls on the subject from people across Canada as well as negative Facebook messages from as far away as Europe.
The founder of Toronto Pig Save says she’s glad the pig scramble is removed — but doesn’t support the continued harassment of the Lombardy Agricultural Society members.
“We don’t condone that,” Krajnc said. “I think the fair did the right thing. There’s always going to be people who are negative, who see the cup as half empty. I tend to be a person who sees the cup as half full. And I’m very encouraged by this decision.”
The group says it will continue to pressure other fairs across the country to also end the Pig Scramble, and to promote compassion for animals.