Town Square

Post a New Topic

Tonight in Woodside: July Fourth pig scramble on livestock committee agenda

Original post made on Jan 25, 2017

The Woodside Livestock and Equestrian Heritage Committee meets tonight (Wednesday, Jan. 25) at Woodside Elementary School to discuss, among other topics, the annual July 4 pig scramble.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 11:49 AM

Comments (22)

Posted by Calypso41
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Calypso41 is a registered user.

I hope this scramble stops. They're so young and this treatment is inhumane. Hasn't anyone on the Committee seen BABE, the children's movie!

Posted by Bette
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2017 at 12:46 pm

I hope the Woodside Council will create a commuinty of compassion.

The day of honoring horses was a great model that can be expanded upon in myriad ways for the benefit of all.

Posted by kimmy
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jan 25, 2017 at 1:27 pm

"Establishing rules for gently handling the pigs" may have been a genuine attempt to make this hideous event better, but one look at the video will show that those rules were often ignored by rodeo workers themselves, not to mention the children. How could any rule improve the pig scramble, except the complete abolishment of ALL animal scrambles!! Come on Woodside, you can do better than this!!! Ban the pig scramble!!! I witnessed the scramble a few years ago and the squeals of the terrified pigs are still ringing in my ears.

Posted by terri ducay
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 25, 2017 at 1:37 pm

The Pig Scramble is not only cruel but sends the wrong message to children. I truly hope Woodside's leaders understand that to allow the scramble to continue is bad and wrong.

Posted by DoGooder
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jan 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm

So glad to hear that this issue is being heard before one of Woodside's committees, so the facts can come out and the public can weigh in. Just because this event has been a "tradition" in the past, it's obviously cruel to the pigs and the only reason for the scramble is a few minutes of entertainment for kids and their parents. The price the pigs pay, in being mistreated and terrorized, and the real and potential injuries. is not worth it. It's time for Woodside to ban this activity. Surely there are humane ways to entertain kids that don't involve chasing frightened baby animals.

Posted by lorien french
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 25, 2017 at 2:08 pm

This unsanctioned rodeo event by its very nature blatantly violates modern farm animal welfare standards, including those set by the Pork Producer Industry Association. Pigs are prey animals and their body language as evidenced in this video displays a fear response as well as extreme distress. Further, there are multiple examples in the video of outright animal abuse in which piglets were tossed out of the trailer onto a pile on the ground. One piglet was grabbed, hoisted and tossed by the tail as it tried to clamber back to the safety of the transport trailer. Many piglets were dragged or dangled by their hind limbs rather than being carried under the rib cage or handled above the hock. Pigs require gentle handling and treatment. They don't like sudden movement or loud noises. This chaotic event in which three rounds of 40+ screaming children chase and attempt to grab about a dozen confused piglets is not and can never be consistent with safe or humane animal handling practices. It is time to stop this and other such events - animal welfare standards cannot be relaxed or violated simply in the guise of "entertainment."

Posted by Christina H
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jan 25, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Thank you so very much, Lorien French I am in full agreement with you. I could not have stated this issue in a better way than you have here on this post. Animal cruelty is barbaric!
Christina Holloway Menlo Park

Posted by Lori
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2017 at 2:32 pm

There is no getting around the cruelty this event causes; not only to the animals, who are extremely frightened, thrown around, hurt, and not respected as a living sentient being, but also on the psyche of the children who participate; teaching them that a lack of compassion is a fun thing, no matter the harm of the pig, who does not choose to participate, or any other person who cannot stand up for themselves. We need to teach our children how to be compassionate to all. Any other way is failing the children, not to mention the animals in our care.

Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 25, 2017 at 3:47 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

time to end this tradition.

Posted by Jennifer Gonzales
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Jan 25, 2017 at 5:22 pm

2017 and Woodside permits an event to take place where animals are abused by children. in schools today, children are taught to treat animals with respect.
These children come into our Town where it is expected that to,participate in the pig scramble, they will tackle, grab, ignore the squeals of the terrified piglets, drag a piglet by one or two hind legs across the arena to hand the piglet over and get their award.
So they get an award for abusing animals.
There is nothing okay with the pig scrambles:
Terrified pigs, many of whom will be injured
Children receiving an award for abusing animals
The audience is the parents of these children, who must enjoy watching animals being abused.
Woodside, we must Ban the Pig Scramble!

Posted by Eric Mills
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2017 at 9:18 pm

This is a true "no-brainer," folks. Anyone in doubt need only look at the video from the 2016 Jr. Rodeo. A "humane pig scramble" is an oxymoron--NOT POSSIBLE! The pigs are stressed and terrified, roughly handled by stockhandlers and children alike. Such "scrambles" have been banned at the Rowell Ranch Rodeo in Castro Valley since 1986. Woodside needs to jump on the Humane Bandwagon. Now's the time.

State Humane Education Code 60042 (re-approved last year by the State Assembly by a vote of 73:0) requires that humane education and kindness to animals be taught in the public schools, K-12. These pig scrambles are a blatant violation of that mandate. And what a terrible message to send to impressionable young children! Ironic that the Jr. Rodeo features pony rides and a petting zoo, where children treat the animals kindly, then are subjected to the abusive and chaotic "pig scramble." Does not compute.

I attended tonight's meeting of the Livestock Committee. There was a good turn-out from both sides, with testimony from many. A proposal was made that a "compromise" might be possible. NO WAY! The pig scramble has to go. It is NOT a standard Jr. Rodeo event, and will not be missed. Two dozen local veterinarians signed a statement in support of the ban, and the Peninsula Humane Society has spoken out against the event, along with several hundred letters, emails and petitions in support of the ban received by the Town Council.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Write to Woodside Mayor Tom Livermore and the Town Council, Independence Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, Woodside, CA 94062; email for all - [email protected]

Letters to the ALMANAC - [email protected]

AS Tennessee Williams wrote, "Cruelty is the only unforgivable sin." ("Night of the Iguana")

BAN ALL ANIMAL "SCRAMBLE" - The pigs, calves, chickens, rabbits, et al. deserve better. As do we.

Eric Mills, coordinator
(with many subscribers in San Mateo County)

Posted by Eric Mills
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2017 at 11:07 pm


Contact COMMITTEE FOR A HUMANE WOODSIDE,P.O. Box 961, Menlo Park, CA 94025; email - [email protected]

Ask for copies of petitions you can circulate to help stop the "pig scrambles." All ages can sign; Woodside area residents would carry most weight with the Town Council.

Thanks for caring!

Eric Mills, coordinator
email - [email protected]

Posted by Jennofur OConnor
a resident of another community
on Jan 26, 2017 at 1:30 am

No, no, 1,000 times no. Children who participate in these kinds of events come away with the belief that animals can be harassed for fun no matter how terrifying it may be for the animal. No one could possibly assert that the sheep or calves enjoy this event.

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 26, 2017 at 9:52 am

I hope the pig scramble is canceled. It sends the wrong message to children. We ask them to be gentle with dogs, and then we allow this rough treatment of pigs. It sends a garbled message.

Posted by Andrea Moss
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Jan 26, 2017 at 11:10 am

This is not only inhumane for the baby pigs but sends a terrible message to kids that it's okay to torture animals. This needs to stop.

Posted by I.M. Baconlover
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Jan 26, 2017 at 11:26 am

Virtue signal much here people? We raise these animals to eat these animals. Isn't that cruel?

Posted by Judy Youngman
a resident of Corte Madera School
on Jan 26, 2017 at 11:41 am

Here in Marin, we love all animals and are disgusted to learn that in beautiful Woodside this abuse is going on! Wake up South Bay...............what are you teaching your children?.........that it's OK to be cruel for fun and profit? Please tell me this animal abuse will be stopped!!!!!!!!! Marin IS WATCHING!!!!!

Posted by Jennifer Gonzales
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Jan 26, 2017 at 11:57 am

Two replies,
There is no logic in saying that the pig scramble is okay because those animals are being raised for food. Having children abuse animals as a form of entertainment is just sickening. The issue here is the pig scramble, not whether or not people eat meat.
Next, the piglets for the 2016 pig scramble were brought in from Marin County, according to the chairman of last year's Junior Rodeo. If you live in Marin County, you might want to ask around and if you find the rancher who provided the piglets, they are providing the the animals that will be abused.

Posted by pancetta on mac-n-cheese
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 26, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Using Tennessee Williams and the movie Babe as your argument is a bit silly. We have a President who favors real torture, but please, spend your efforts on the Mayor and not the short-fingered Cheeto that is our torturer-in-chief.


Say, what?

Posted by Patti Breitman
a resident of another community
on Jan 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Twenty seven countries have now banned the use of animals in entertainment. Ringling Brothers will soon be closing down its circus as people express their disgust at using animals for laughs. The pig scramble is behind the times. Woodside should stop this shameful use of pigs for the entertainment of children. It sends the wrong message, that animals are meant to be stressed and used for humans' enjoyment. I love visiting Woodside, but am disheartened by this unfortunate, annual event.

Posted by Judi Kiel
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Jan 26, 2017 at 8:42 pm

Please end the the Pig Scramble!
Helpless & fightenend baby pigs struggling under a pile of kids grabbing & pulling on them is just cruel to watch and not entertainment.

Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2017 at 10:08 am

This is indeed shameful for all the reasons others have cited. Send an email directly to Woodside:

Web Link

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Almanac Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

James Beard Award winning chef Traci Des Jardins' restaurant el Alto abruptly closes its doors in Los Altos months after highly anticipated opening
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 6,581 views

Palo Alto's bold proposal to jumpstart home electrification
By Sherry Listgarten | 11 comments | 3,302 views

San Bruno Wins Food Trend Craze with First Plant-Based Gas Mart
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 2,092 views

The Benefits of Adding Market-Rate Housing in Palo Alto
By Steve Levy | 13 comments | 1,649 views

How Much Time do You Spend Outdoors?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,383 views