Animal activists are applauding the decision of the Dundas Plowing Match and Agricultural Fair to cancel the pig scramble.
"They did the right thing by cancelling it, and I think it's great that they did that," said Melodie Robb, who started a petition against the Dundas fair.
"It's showing that times have changed and that we don't need to use animals to entertain us anymore."
A pig scramble is an event where children get in a pen and try and corral young pigs.
At the Dundas fair, the children are eight years old and under, and unlike some other fairs there is no hands-on contact allowed at Dundas. Instead the kids use plastic bags to try and guide the pigs.
Robb was also involved in the petition that eventually got a pig scramble in New Brunswick cancelled recently, there has also been a cancellation in Nova Scotia, although that fair said the decision had nothing to do with public outcry.
Against the rules
Camille Labchuk, executive director for Animal Justice, is also pleased with Dundas' decision. She said her group contacted the Department of Agriculture and local authorities — arguing pig scrambles may be against the law.
A spokesperson from the department did confirm that the practice does not comply with section four of the National Farm Animal Care Council's Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs.
Officials attended the meeting Tuesday night to explain this to the board of the Dundas fair. The board has not confirmed why the scramble was canceled. Regardless of the reason Labchuk is happy.
"This is amazing news. It's a victory for pigs," she said.
Hopes of moving away from animal-centred events
"I'm not surprised that this decision was made, it really was the right one in this case."
Labchuk hopes fairs can move forward past animal-centred events.
"I would hope that when we see these events continue to evolve that we'll move away from using animals in them and move towards other things that truly do bring everybody together and don't involve using animals at the same time," she said.
The Dundas Plowing Match and Agricultural Fair declined to comment on its decision.
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