Pig Scramble cancelled at Sonoma County Fair

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- For decades the pig scramble has been a popular activity at the Sonoma County Fair. On Aug. 1 when the fair reopens, it will be replaced with an obstacle course.

For more than 20 years the Pig Scramble has been one of Sonoma County Fair's annual Farmer's Day activities, but at this year's fair the grabbing and chasing after piglets will be over.

"That particular event needed some little more exciting, I guess robust, activity for the spectators and the kids that are involved in it," said Sonoma County Fair CEO, Rebecca Bartling.

RELATED: Woodside 'Pig Scramble': Tradition or animal cruelty?

The Berkeley-based animal rights activist group 'Direct Action Everywhere' says for decades the Pig Scramble has been a form of animal abuse.

"The climate where things are really moving into the right direction where we are not abusing animals and where we are teaching our children wholesome ways to entertain themselves," said Matt Johnson, Press coordinator with "Direct Action Everywhere."

In her backyard, Alicia Santorio has what she likes to call a micro sanctuary; with chickens, rabbits, and of course Rupert the 105 pound pig. She's glad the Pig Scramble is not coming back.

"That these animals are like sentient beings just like we are and like dogs are," said pig owner Alicia Santorio.

The Sonoma County Fairs decision was made boost attendance.

"More interactive and with the obstacle course I think it's going to be more fun," said Bartling.

Come August the fair hopes to see more kids having fun with watermelons instead of pigs.
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