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Woodside: Pig scramble protest is on for rodeo, opponents say

The pig scramble – a controversial but longstanding event in which children chase small pigs around a rodeo arena in hopes of catching one and being given a ribbon – returns to Woodside with the annual July Fourth Junior Rodeo, sponsored by the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County.

Opponents of the scramble plan to place themselves outside the gate of the Mounted Patrol and at "certain other areas" to display hand-held signs and possibly banners to rodeo fans as they drive by, protest spokesperson and Woodside resident Jennifer Gonzales told The Almanac.

The gates open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4, at 521 Mountain Home Road, according to the calendar on the Mounted Patrol website.

Opponents of the event say that pigs, when chased, are terrified and that an event like the pig scramble implies to children that it's OK to scare animals. Advocates say the pigs and the children are having fun. Rodeo officials have noted that instructions now require all people handling the pigs, including the children, to treat them gently.

Town Hall has been notified of the protest plans, as has the county Sheriff's Office through Town Hall, Gonzales said. "This is to ensure that there are no misunderstandings about our right to be in the public right-of-way on Kings Mountain Road and certain other areas for a peaceful demonstration," she said.

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The protesters will be active from 9 a.m. to noon "to demonstrate our concern for the treatment of these animals," Gonzales said. "We simply wish to exercise our freedom of speech to let the Mounted Patrol know that Woodside residents would like an end to the abusive pig scramble."

Asked to comment, Michael Hutnick, captain of the Mounted Patrol, said the event's organizers are "doing everything that we can" to ensure the safety and health of all animals and participants. He noted the event's track record of no evidence of pigs suffering physical or psychological disabilities.

"That we're going to have protest is fine," Hutnick said. "This is a free country. ... We understand that protesters will be there and that's certainly their right to do that."

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Woodside: Pig scramble protest is on for rodeo, opponents say

by Dave Boyce / Almanac

Uploaded: Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 9:58 am

The pig scramble – a controversial but longstanding event in which children chase small pigs around a rodeo arena in hopes of catching one and being given a ribbon – returns to Woodside with the annual July Fourth Junior Rodeo, sponsored by the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County.

Opponents of the scramble plan to place themselves outside the gate of the Mounted Patrol and at "certain other areas" to display hand-held signs and possibly banners to rodeo fans as they drive by, protest spokesperson and Woodside resident Jennifer Gonzales told The Almanac.

The gates open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4, at 521 Mountain Home Road, according to the calendar on the Mounted Patrol website.

Opponents of the event say that pigs, when chased, are terrified and that an event like the pig scramble implies to children that it's OK to scare animals. Advocates say the pigs and the children are having fun. Rodeo officials have noted that instructions now require all people handling the pigs, including the children, to treat them gently.

Town Hall has been notified of the protest plans, as has the county Sheriff's Office through Town Hall, Gonzales said. "This is to ensure that there are no misunderstandings about our right to be in the public right-of-way on Kings Mountain Road and certain other areas for a peaceful demonstration," she said.

The protesters will be active from 9 a.m. to noon "to demonstrate our concern for the treatment of these animals," Gonzales said. "We simply wish to exercise our freedom of speech to let the Mounted Patrol know that Woodside residents would like an end to the abusive pig scramble."

Asked to comment, Michael Hutnick, captain of the Mounted Patrol, said the event's organizers are "doing everything that we can" to ensure the safety and health of all animals and participants. He noted the event's track record of no evidence of pigs suffering physical or psychological disabilities.

"That we're going to have protest is fine," Hutnick said. "This is a free country. ... We understand that protesters will be there and that's certainly their right to do that."

Comments

John D
Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Jul 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm
John D, Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Jul 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Here we go again.... I can never understand why it's just the pigs. Isn't calf roping just as bad or worse? What about bull riding? Yet every year all we talk about is the pigs.


Thankful for your compassion
Portola Valley: other
on Jul 3, 2018 at 3:10 pm
Thankful for your compassion , Portola Valley: other
on Jul 3, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Thanks to the protesters for working to protect the pigs.


the bitter end
Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Jul 3, 2018 at 4:32 pm
the bitter end, Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Jul 3, 2018 at 4:32 pm

And we're protecting them, until..........?


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jul 3, 2018 at 5:56 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jul 3, 2018 at 5:56 pm

"And we're protecting them, until..........?"

They grow up and are slaughtered for food. Let's not torment them while they're alive.


Eric Mills
another community
on Jul 3, 2018 at 5:58 pm
Eric Mills, another community
on Jul 3, 2018 at 5:58 pm

Commenter John D (above) is absolutely right. ALL of rodeo should be outlawed nationwide. Imagine the public outcry if the rodeo cowboys mistreated pet dogs the way they do the roping calves. And mere BABIES, yet. Rodeo is condemned for its inherent cruelty by nearly EVERY major animal welfare organization in the country. For most of the (all unwilling) animals involved, rodeo is merely a detour en route to the slaughterhouse. And all in the name of "entertainment," may God forgive us.

Consider this statement from world-renowned animal behaviorist Dr. Temple Grandin (Colorado State University):

"The single worst thing you can do to an animal emotionally is to make it feel afraid. Fear is so bad for animals I think it's worse than pain."

All rodeo animals are "prey" animals. As such, they fear for their very lives when chased, roped, ridden , wrestled or otherwise handled roughly. What a godawful message to send to impressionable young children (not to mention insensitive adults.)

And add this to the mix: State Education Code 60042 mandates that "kindness and humane treatment of animals" be taught in the public schools, K-12. The "scrambles" would seem to be a violation of that mandate. What do the folks at Woodside Elementary have to say about this, pray?

BOYCOTT ALL RODEOS!

x
Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS
Oakland


the bitter end
Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Jul 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm
the bitter end, Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Jul 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm

What about the way horses?


Concerned
Woodside: other
on Jul 3, 2018 at 6:16 pm
Concerned, Woodside: other
on Jul 3, 2018 at 6:16 pm

The pig scramble is an activity which has not one positive thing about it.. hurts all who are involved in any way.
.the parents who find it entertaining to watch children mistreat animals
.the children who are learning that treating animals unkindly is just fine
.the terrified baby pigs who have no ways to escape the mistreatment
.the pig farmer who doesn’t run his/her farm following current animal handling practices..loaning or renting baby pigs to be mistreated in the pig scramble
.the Mounted Patrol who are making a show of being out of touch

The world would be better off with no pig scramble


Menlogal
Menlo Park: other
on Jul 3, 2018 at 6:20 pm
Menlogal, Menlo Park: other
on Jul 3, 2018 at 6:20 pm

Very sad to see that Woodside still allows the Mounted Patrol to include the pig scramble in the Rodeo. Despite public outcry for the last three years, baby pigs are still held upside down, dropped on their heads, dragged through the arena, and chased by hordes of children. Last year the Mounted Patrol promised a "kinder, gentler" pig scramble, but video later showed that nothing had happened at all to change the treatment of the piglets. This event teaches children that it is fun to terrorize little animals - is this the way parents want to raise their children? Pig scrambles have been banned all over the country in different locations. It is even sadder that these piglets will be killed shortly, for their "tender flesh." Let them enjoy their last days in peace!! Please boycott the pig scramble!!!


Eric Mills
another community
on Jul 3, 2018 at 6:42 pm
Eric Mills, another community
on Jul 3, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Channel 5 TV coverage - 2016 Woodside Jr. Rodeo - pig scrambles.

Pay particular attention to the statement from the young girl toward the end of the video, attempting to justify the abuse.


Web Link

x
Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS
Oakland


Laura
Atherton: other
on Jul 3, 2018 at 8:33 pm
Laura, Atherton: other
on Jul 3, 2018 at 8:33 pm

I love the sign in the picture "Would you let your child participate in a pug scramble?" We would never let children do this to puppies. Why is it ok with pigs?
Shame on the Mounted Patrol.


Jennofur OConnor
another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 1:44 am
Jennofur OConnor, another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 1:44 am

These spectacles are sadistic and sick. It's 2018! Why is anyone supporting cruelty to animals?


[email protected]
another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 9:05 am
[email protected], another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 9:05 am

Use to live in the area and felt that it had many upscale, educated folks. I was sure wrong about the Mounted Patrol (hicks) and people who attend such an Inhumane event. This should be stopped. It is not in keeping with every thing good folks and California schools try to teach their kids.


Eric Mills
another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 9:52 am
Eric Mills, another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 9:52 am

SUGGESTIONS: There's a crying need for local ordinances, county and state legislation to ban these cruelties.

Meet with State Senator Jerry Hill and Assemblymember Marc Berman in their district offices, and urge them to introduce the needed state legislation. (See "Government" pages of your telephone book for contact info.) The Peninsula Humane Society would be the obvious sponsor: Ken White, director, email - [email protected]

All state legislators may be written c/o The State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Address the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors during the Public Comment period, urging them to adopt a county-wide ordinance to address these issues. Meet with the individual Supervisors to get their support.

And don't neglect the Woodside City Council, of course. Let them hear from you! A steady flow of letters to the WOODSIDE ALMANAC could help, too.

x
Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS
Oakland


Bold Chapeau
Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Jul 4, 2018 at 10:27 am
Bold Chapeau, Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Jul 4, 2018 at 10:27 am

Animal abuse, pure and simple. Shame on these people for sending the message to kids that animal abuse is not only okay, it's a lot of fun. And same on the adults for finding this torment entertaining. And that goes for ALL of rodeo as well.


Laurie P
another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 11:27 am
Laurie P, another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 11:27 am

To the parents who support this event: If this event is harmless and fun, please have your children scramble to catch each other.


Bette
another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 11:32 am
Bette, another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 11:32 am

Curious the Woodside City Council continues to a support animal abuse despite long public outcry to end it.


the bitter end
Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Jul 4, 2018 at 12:10 pm
the bitter end, Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Jul 4, 2018 at 12:10 pm

"please have your children scramble to catch each other"

It's called "tag". Variations include "freeze-tag", "link-tag", "bandaid-tag", etc..

Though I've been told tag games have been banned at schools, I can't confirm said ban on normal childhood activities.


Miriam
another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 5:22 pm
Miriam, another community
on Jul 4, 2018 at 5:22 pm

I love the sign my friend Ellen is holding. Many relevant comments were made as well. I think not just the pig scramble, the whole rodeo should be banned. I'm from San Jose. Last year, I went to a town meeting about this, and here they are again ... the Mounted Patrol thinks they have the power. I think it should come to an end !


Porky
Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jul 4, 2018 at 6:51 pm
Porky, Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jul 4, 2018 at 6:51 pm

This is all good fun. Pigs love to be chased. Pigs are fun. Who said that the pigs are scared? Are you people all pig psychologists? Grew up on a farm with pigs. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little pig-chasing fun. Wish they would add in goat roping too.


SO easy
Menlo Park: other
on Jul 4, 2018 at 7:35 pm
SO easy, Menlo Park: other
on Jul 4, 2018 at 7:35 pm

So easy to protest the crime of scaring pigs. Yeah, write your representative, call the nonprofits, speak at public meetings. OR.......... you could channel your efforts toward human rights issues in the US like safe water, education, due process, hunger, poverty, clean air. Anything.


Dogooder
Atherton: other
on Jul 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm
Dogooder, Atherton: other
on Jul 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm

More often than not, people who care a lot about animals have a lot of empathy and care about and fight for other causes too, like human rights, the environment , etc. Seems like those who think you can only work for one cause do nothing at all to make the world better. Many people CAN walk and chew gum at the same time. Just sayin’. ....


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