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Woodside: Residents petition council to halt pig scrambles

Original post made on Feb 1, 2017

Woodside residents and others opposed to the annual kids-chasing-pigs event at the July Fourth Junior Rodeo put on by the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County can now attach a number to their opposition.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 12:00 AM

Comments (19)

Posted by Eric Mills
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2017 at 7:46 pm

Kudos to reporter Dave Boyce for his even-handed coverage of the 1/25 hearing. I was there, too. Ironically, some of the best testimony indicating the need for a pig scramble ban came from the rodeo supporters themselves (see, e.g., the comments of Mr. Gilbert above).

No "compromise" is possible. The scrambles gotta go. Hordes of screaming children chasing, falling on and dragging terrified baby pigs is undeniably cruel. Which is why 25 local veterinarians support the proposed ban. Anyone in doubt need only view the videotape from the 2916 rodeo (see link above).

And what a terrible message to send to impressionable young children about the proper treatment of animals--a mixed message, at that. Last year's rodeo also featured pony rides and a petting zoos--positive events for kids and animals alike. California Education Code 60042 mandates that humane education and kindness to animals be taught in the public schools, K-12. The State Assembly only last year re-approved that Code in a unanimous 73:0 vote (H.R. 28). These scrambles are blatant violation of that mandate. TEACHERS, BE AWARE! Surely there are more positive, life-affirming activities for our kids than this abuse event. How long before a child gets a pig's hoof in the eye?

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Write to Mayor Tom Livermore & the Town Council, Independence Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, Woodside, Ca 94062; email - [email protected]

HELP CIRCULATE PETITIONS TO STOP THE ABUSE - Contact "Committee for a Humane Woodside," P.O. Box 961, Menlo Park, CA 94025; email - [email protected]

As Dr. Seuss's The Lorax says, "Unless somebody like YOU cares a whole awful lot, then nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Kind regards,

Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS
P.O. Box 20184
Oakland, CA 94620
email - [email protected]

P.S. - I, too, am a big supporter of "Western culture and tradition." But that should not include cruelty to animals.


Posted by Dr Nedim C Buyukmihci
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2017 at 12:10 am

As a veterinarian with many years of experience dealing with pigs, I hope that Woodside will do away with 'pig scrambles' on the grounds that they are inherently cruel and inhumane. Pigs are 'prey' animals and they experience abject fear when subjected to situations which they can only interpret as potentially fatal, including being chased by a predator such as a human being. In some of the pigs, this might be sufficient to lead to distress, shock and death. Restraining or suspending pigs by their legs, as done in these 'scrambles', is not only painful in itself (pigs are terrestrial and their legs have not evolved to support their bodies by hoisting), it can lead to dislocation of joints which adds to the pain and suffering endured. These events also clearly violate the principles of animal welfare put forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the largest professional veterinary organization worldwide, which states that animals "should be cared for in ways that minimize fear, pain, stress, and suffering."

The people involved, whether participants or observers, may be 'enjoying' themselves, but at great cost to the pigs. Allowing such treatment teaches children and others, by example, that it is acceptable to use nonhuman animals in general and pigs in particular for any human purpose, regardless how trivial and even when such use is potentially dangerous to the animals. Our society desperately needs to foster a greater respect for the other creatures with whom we share this planet. Pig 'scrambles' are antithetical to that aspiration.

Nedim C. Buyukmihci, V.M.D.
Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California-Davis


Posted by Jennofur OConnor
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2017 at 2:41 am

This cruel scramble must be cancelled. What kind of lesson does this teach children? That animals are ours to do with whatever we please as long as we find it "entertaining." It's 2017, for crying out loud. Stop this madness.


Posted by Kamal
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 2, 2017 at 6:49 am

There is too much cruelty and oppression in this world. This barbaric and unnecessary practice needs to stop.


Posted by Palominogal
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2017 at 9:35 am

From the story: "A Mounted Patrol captain said that American society's acceptance of boxing, martial arts and American football is an endorsement of violence."

Thus implying that this makes pig scrambles with children OK....Uh, really?

I would like to remind said "Mounted Patrol captain" quoted that those things he mentions involve ADULTS who are WILLING participants in those sports. Not children or animals, both of whom are parent-coerced (kids) and flat-out UNwilling participants (the pigs). Mr. Patrol Captain needs to grow up.


Posted by biggest problem in the world!
a resident of Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Feb 2, 2017 at 9:47 am

PETA and the socialists from Marin are really unhappy. Relax, have a BLT for lunch. Make sure the lettuce is humanely "raised", and continue to ignore the conditions of the farmhouses. Animals matter more!


Posted by Jennifer Gonzales
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Feb 2, 2017 at 11:15 am

The Committee for Humane Woodside has been working to get animal abuse declared illegal in Woodside. The events known as animal scrambles are abusive. Once a year, on July 4, in Woodside, there is a Junior Rodeo hosted by the Mounted Patrol. Most of the events are part of the sanctioned junior rodeo. The pig scramble is a nonsanctioned event. It is not part of the rodeo. It is an event added to the day by the Mounted Patrol. Large groups of children pay to abuse piglets while the audience
Laugh and cheer. Piglets are traumatized and often injured. The children are learning that it is okay to abuse animals.
The Committee for a Humane Woodside needs your support. Call your Town Council Representative , your a planning Commission Representative, sign the petitions, contact Town Manager Kevin Bryant. Do whatever you can to make the apig Scramble illegal in Woodside.
It is embarrassing that in 2017 we are dealing with this horrible problem.


Posted by Susan Wyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Does Woodside wish to be represented by Mr. Gilbert's rather remarkable philosophy: "They are strong animals. You gotta pull a tail or dump 'em on the ground. People do this all the time," he said. "We can't cure everything in the world. Little pigs. How do we get into their heads in psychology? It just doesn't work." Where to begin with this sentence? First of all, baby pigs are NOT big, strong, animals. They are babies who weigh far less than whatever child happens to fall on them, grab them, pull them by their hind legs, etc. Second, we are not trying to cure everything in the world here. We are trying to end cruelty to animals which is taking place under our noses in what should be an enlightened community. Third, how do we get into their heads? Start by watching the video of the terrified pigs. Then do a little research on how smart and sensitive pigs are. Then ask yourself, WHY is the Mounted Patrol so invested in keeping this cruel scramble going? Why do they resist a worldwide movement to stop abusing animals? What are these adults getting out of this? Children need decent role models to learn from, and a quiet petting circle where kids could let the piglets come to them and be stroked and fed would be a good compromise. Scrambles are NOT acceptable!!


Posted by john picko
a resident of Willow Oaks Elementary
on Feb 2, 2017 at 7:59 pm

End the pig scramble or everyone dies, eventually, ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;


Posted by terri
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 2, 2017 at 8:26 pm

I believe in cowboy values. Values themselves do not change but the context of the situation evolves and I believe some folks are talking about. That pig scrambles at one time were accepted but now that we have learned more about animals, pigs, it’s time to reconsider.

- Not that long ago, smoking was everywhere but we have changed our thinking about it.
- Dogs were not considered pets, and in many countries are still not. But dogs that once stayed permanently stayed outside are now found sleeping in our beds.

Things evolve, some for the better some for not.

As for the pig scramble, I would like to understand why pigs are at the MP event? I understand MP's charter is based on Search and Rescue on horseback. Maybe instead of a scramble, could that time be spent to learn more about Search and Rescue; especially since the Big One is due any day?

I for one would love to learn how to search and rescue, on foot and on horseback. And I believe the MP would be amazing at this!! I mean who else would know how to do it? It could involve everyone, kids, parents, and it could be a game/contest, and physical, but more importantly it stands on what the MP is all about. I bet it would not only be fun but so very important as a matter of live and death.

Let the pigs go and let’s learn from the MP.


Posted by kimmy
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 2, 2017 at 8:49 pm

A great idea to learn more about Search and Rescue,but, alas, the Mounted Patrol lost its membership in the San Mateo County Sheriff's Search and Rescue , after a woman brought suit against them years ago because they would not allow women to join the MP. Perhaps the MP would like to join the 21st century and learn to treat both women and animals better!


Posted by Beth
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Considering the sensitivity of the pigs and the harm done to them in this event (an assumption), consider also the same done to the young children participating or watching, especially as they take in all the laughing by their parents and other insensitive adults.

No wonder so many people grow up angry.


Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Dump the pig scramble. Old cowboys never die. They get a new piggy.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights

on Feb 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Michelle
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 3, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Kimmy, interesting point you made. Here is the link about the refusal by Mounted Patrol to admit women. Interesting reading!
Web Link
I agree, the MP need to join the 21st century here! And horse people, why not create a new group who really could join the Sheriff's team for search and rescue, and this time make it inclusive of both men and women?


Posted by Betty
a resident of Woodside High School
on Feb 4, 2017 at 4:26 pm

How ridiculous to state that chasing and terrorizing animals is a better alternative than playing video games or smoking marijuana! There are so many better choices out there such as geocaching, hiking, cycling, team sports, volunteer work, etc. Let's not teach children to abuse animals for entertainment. The pig scramble needs to end. It is just a matter of when.


Posted by Susan Wyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 4, 2017 at 5:30 pm

For some reason, this article has reappeared without the comments. Here they are again!

Posted by Eric Mills
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2017 at 7:46 pm
Kudos to reporter Dave Boyce for his even-handed coverage of the 1/25 hearing. I was there, too. Ironically, some of the best testimony indicating the need for a pig scramble ban came from the rodeo supporters themselves (see, e.g., the comments of Mr. Gilbert above).

No "compromise" is possible. The scrambles gotta go. Hordes of screaming children chasing, falling on and dragging terrified baby pigs is undeniably cruel. Which is why 25 local veterinarians support the proposed ban. Anyone in doubt need only view the videotape from the 2916 rodeo (see link above).

And what a terrible message to send to impressionable young children about the proper treatment of animals--a mixed message, at that. Last year's rodeo also featured pony rides and a petting zoos--positive events for kids and animals alike. California Education Code 60042 mandates that humane education and kindness to animals be taught in the public schools, K-12. The State Assembly only last year re-approved that Code in a unanimous 73:0 vote (H.R. 28). These scrambles are blatant violation of that mandate. TEACHERS, BE AWARE! Surely there are more positive, life-affirming activities for our kids than this abuse event. How long before a child gets a pig's hoof in the eye?

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Write to Mayor Tom Livermore & the Town Council, Independence Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, Woodside, Ca 94062; email - [email protected]

HELP CIRCULATE PETITIONS TO STOP THE ABUSE - Contact "Committee for a Humane Woodside," P.O. Box 961, Menlo Park, CA 94025; email - [email protected]

As Dr. Seuss's The Lorax says, "Unless somebody like YOU cares a whole awful lot, then nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Kind regards,

Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS
P.O. Box 20184
Oakland, CA 94620
email - [email protected]

P.S. - I, too, am a big supporter of "Western culture and tradition." But that should not include cruelty to animals.

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

18 people like this Posted by Dr Nedim C Buyukmihci
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2017 at 12:10 am
As a veterinarian with many years of experience dealing with pigs, I hope that Woodside will do away with 'pig scrambles' on the grounds that they are inherently cruel and inhumane. Pigs are 'prey' animals and they experience abject fear when subjected to situations which they can only interpret as potentially fatal, including being chased by a predator such as a human being. In some of the pigs, this might be sufficient to lead to distress, shock and death. Restraining or suspending pigs by their legs, as done in these 'scrambles', is not only painful in itself (pigs are terrestrial and their legs have not evolved to support their bodies by hoisting), it can lead to dislocation of joints which adds to the pain and suffering endured. These events also clearly violate the principles of animal welfare put forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the largest professional veterinary organization worldwide, which states that animals "should be cared for in ways that minimize fear, pain, stress, and suffering."

The people involved, whether participants or observers, may be 'enjoying' themselves, but at great cost to the pigs. Allowing such treatment teaches children and others, by example, that it is acceptable to use nonhuman animals in general and pigs in particular for any human purpose, regardless how trivial and even when such use is potentially dangerous to the animals. Our society desperately needs to foster a greater respect for the other creatures with whom we share this planet. Pig 'scrambles' are antithetical to that aspiration.

Nedim C. Buyukmihci, V.M.D.
Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California-Davis

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

16 people like this Posted by Jennofur OConnor
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2017 at 2:41 am
This cruel scramble must be cancelled. What kind of lesson does this teach children? That animals are ours to do with whatever we please as long as we find it "entertaining." It's 2017, for crying out loud. Stop this madness.

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

18 people like this Posted by Kamal
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 2, 2017 at 6:49 am
There is too much cruelty and oppression in this world. This barbaric and unnecessary practice needs to stop.

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

20 people like this Posted by Palominogal
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2017 at 9:35 am
From the story: "A Mounted Patrol captain said that American society's acceptance of boxing, martial arts and American football is an endorsement of violence."

Thus implying that this makes pig scrambles with children OK....Uh, really?

I would like to remind said "Mounted Patrol captain" quoted that those things he mentions involve ADULTS who are WILLING participants in those sports. Not children or animals, both of whom are parent-coerced (kids) and flat-out UNwilling participants (the pigs). Mr. Patrol Captain needs to grow up.

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

+ 20 people like this Posted by biggest problem in the world!
a resident of Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Feb 2, 2017 at 9:47 am
PETA and the socialists from Marin are really unhappy. Relax, have a BLT for lunch. Make sure the lettuce is humanely "raised", and continue to ignore the conditions of the farmhouses. Animals matter more!

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

10 people like this Posted by Jennifer Gonzales
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Feb 2, 2017 at 11:15 am
The Committee for Humane Woodside has been working to get animal abuse declared illegal in Woodside. The events known as animal scrambles are abusive. Once a year, on July 4, in Woodside, there is a Junior Rodeo hosted by the Mounted Patrol. Most of the events are part of the sanctioned junior rodeo. The pig scramble is a nonsanctioned event. It is not part of the rodeo. It is an event added to the day by the Mounted Patrol. Large groups of children pay to abuse piglets while the audience
Laugh and cheer. Piglets are traumatized and often injured. The children are learning that it is okay to abuse animals.
The Committee for a Humane Woodside needs your support. Call your Town Council Representative , your a planning Commission Representative, sign the petitions, contact Town Manager Kevin Bryant. Do whatever you can to make the apig Scramble illegal in Woodside.
It is embarrassing that in 2017 we are dealing with this horrible problem.

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

16 people like this Posted by Susan Wyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm
Does Woodside wish to be represented by Mr. Gilbert's rather remarkable philosophy: "They are strong animals. You gotta pull a tail or dump 'em on the ground. People do this all the time," he said. "We can't cure everything in the world. Little pigs. How do we get into their heads in psychology? It just doesn't work." Where to begin with this sentence? First of all, baby pigs are NOT big, strong, animals. They are babies who weigh far less than whatever child happens to fall on them, grab them, pull them by their hind legs, etc. Second, we are not trying to cure everything in the world here. We are trying to end cruelty to animals which is taking place under our noses in what should be an enlightened community. Third, how do we get into their heads? Start by watching the video of the terrified pigs. Then do a little research on how smart and sensitive pigs are. Then ask yourself, WHY is the Mounted Patrol so invested in keeping this cruel scramble going? Why do they resist a worldwide movement to stop abusing animals? What are these adults getting out of this? Children need decent role models to learn from, and a quiet petting circle where kids could let the piglets come to them and be stroked and fed would be a good compromise. Scrambles are NOT acceptable!!

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

+ 2 people like this Posted by john picko
a resident of Willow Oaks Elementary
on Feb 2, 2017 at 7:59 pm
End the pig scramble or everyone dies, eventually, ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

8 people like this Posted by terri
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 2, 2017 at 8:26 pm
I believe in cowboy values. Values themselves do not change but the context of the situation evolves and I believe some folks are talking about. That pig scrambles at one time were accepted but now that we have learned more about animals, pigs, it’s time to reconsider.

- Not that long ago, smoking was everywhere but we have changed our thinking about it.
- Dogs were not considered pets, and in many countries are still not. But dogs that once stayed permanently stayed outside are now found sleeping in our beds.

Things evolve, some for the better some for not.

As for the pig scramble, I would like to understand why pigs are at the MP event? I understand MP's charter is based on Search and Rescue on horseback. Maybe instead of a scramble, could that time be spent to learn more about Search and Rescue; especially since the Big One is due any day?

I for one would love to learn how to search and rescue, on foot and on horseback. And I believe the MP would be amazing at this!! I mean who else would know how to do it? It could involve everyone, kids, parents, and it could be a game/contest, and physical, but more importantly it stands on what the MP is all about. I bet it would not only be fun but so very important as a matter of live and death.

Let the pigs go and let’s learn from the MP.

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

10 people like this Posted by kimmy
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 2, 2017 at 8:49 pm
A great idea to learn more about Search and Rescue,but, alas, the Mounted Patrol lost its membership in the San Mateo County Sheriff's Search and Rescue , after a woman brought suit against them years ago because they would not allow women to join the MP. Perhaps the MP would like to join the 21st century and learn to treat both women and animals better!

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

4 people like this Posted by Beth
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm
Considering the sensitivity of the pigs and the harm done to them in this event (an assumption), consider also the same done to the young children participating or watching, especially as they take in all the laughing by their parents and other insensitive adults.

No wonder so many people grow up angry.
Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

+ Like this comment Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm
SteveC is a registered user.
Dump the pig scramble. Old cowboys never die. They get a new piggy.

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights

on Feb 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm
Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


4 people like this Posted by Michelle
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 3, 2017 at 3:17 pm
Kimmy, interesting point you made. Here is the link about the refusal by Mounted Patrol to admit women. Interesting reading!
Web Link
I agree, the MP need to join the 21st century here! And horse people, why not create a new group who really could join the Sheriff's team for search and rescue, and this time make it inclusive of both men and women?

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator

2 people like this Posted by Betty
a resident of Woodside High School
1 hour ago
How ridiculous to state that chasing and terrorizing animals is a better alternative than playing video games or smoking marijuana! There are so many better choices out there such as geocaching, hiking, cycling, team sports, volunteer work, etc. Let's not teach children to abuse animals for entertainment. The pig scramble needs to end. It is just a matter of when.


Posted by Melodie
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 28, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Lorien don't give up! Keep going after them. I worked on a petition and letters to the mayor and fair committee members for 6 months i gave them every reason why it should be cancelled. I explained how we would get the event boycotted which would mean less money and revenue coming in to the village and how it made them look to society. I got in contact with every animal rights groups i could. the local newspaper. The village council did a vote and voted it completely out of the fair program. It was the last of its kind in the Maritime provinces In Canada. I had a petition on change.org. Over 1500 signatures. They were getting so many negative comments by email to the village council on why it was cruel to the animal and how it made them look to society. It brought attention to the Village of Petitcodiac and not the kind they wanted
Don't give up now, you can get this shut down and out of the programming.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle

on May 2, 2017 at 9:19 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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