Stop Cruel Animal Race at Agricultural Fair

Target: Martinsville Agricultural Fair President Alan Buckner

Goal: Stop the barnyard scramble, a terrifying event where animals are released into a pen and attendees try to catch them

Attendees to the annual Martinsville Agricultural Fair in Illinois race to catch animals released into a pen, which they then get to take home. The animals are frightened, mishandled, and sometimes injured before going to a home that is usually unequipped with the tools and knowledge to care for them.

Every year in Martinsville, children assemble to have a chance at catching their own pet rabbit, duck, or chicken. Pigs, goats, and other barnyard animals are also up for grabs. This mad scramble leads to animals being kicked, stepped on, and injured as they try to flee in terror. In the commotion, children and even staff pick the animals up by their necks, fur, ears, and limbs. Goats are grabbed by the horns and thrown to the ground. Pigs are dived upon in efforts to tackle them.

Winners of the barnyard scramble then get to take their catches home. The Martinsville Agricultural Fair does not provide food, tools, vaccinations, or care instructions to go with the animals. Oftentimes, participants have no knowledge of how to care for these barnyard creatures, and they are surrendered to local shelters.

Children are not informed beforehand of the proper ways to handle these animals, nor are they reprimanded for sometimes intentional improper treatment. The well-being of the creatures is forgotten in the excitement and oftentimes not properly attended to afterwards. Your signature will demand that the Martinsville Agricultural Fair be stop the the Barnyard Scramble.


Dear Mr. Alan Buckner,

Children at the annual Martinsville Agricultural Fair are allowed to race to catch barnyard animals such as ducks, rabbits, chickens, pigs, and goats. What is exciting for the children is frightening to the animals, and often results in mishandling and injury. Children captivated by the moment disregard the well being of the animals by kicking and stepping on the animals. Staff and children alike grab the animals by their fur, ears, necks, and limbs.

Children are not educated on how to properly handle animals before the scramble, nor are they informed how to care for the creatures. Tools and food are not provided, and winning families often are uninformed of the amount of money it takes to house and care for some of these animals. This results in the animals being mistreated by unqualified caregivers, who can neglect the needs of the pet or surrender them to a shelter.

The barnyard scramble not only distresses and injures animals, but sends children a message that terrorizing and mistreating animals is an acceptable form of recreation. I demand that you cut the barnyard scramble from the Martinsville Agricultural Fair.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Scott Becstead via Creative Commons

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  1. Julie van Niekerk says:

    How can it be fun to exploit animals and witness their fear?

  2. Stop this disgusting behavior. it is not the way to teach children to respect life.

  3. Shirley Riley says:

    Where is their COMMON SENSE!!!!! DUUUU?

    • Shirley Riley says:

      Opps, I forgot…..Rodeo people don’t have any common sense….For if they did, they would realize animals don’t enjoy being treated like they were inanimate objects. How can they sit there and watch that. It would make me physically sick. Family entertainment???

  4. How can people be so heartless and cruel. We are heading for the demise if this is what is fun and intertaining!

  5. sto è una tortura per gli animali

  6. It’s hard to believe that many stupid soulless people would be involved in this. Losers.

  7. Some countries get on my nerves, what is fun for them,or a family day out,is torture for some animals,I know England is not perfect but we have barbaric fox hunting which is suppose to not go on but does or fox cubs thrown to dogs,horses made to walk unnatural and badger baiting illegal again and dog fighting by ingrate scumbags,but all the ones I have mentioned and not,are disgusting and some are called sport by scum and animal haters,but to actually think that animals are having fun by mishandling them on purpose,we had rag and bone men here many years ago that handed out goldfish for clothes and items.But that stopped and kids do not understand the rights and wrongs of life, sensible adults are suppose to teach them the right way.But if adults are stupid and do not bother,how are kids suppose to learn what is right and wrong.

  8. people are the worst thing to happen to this planet.

  9. Darlene Avery says:

    Please stop this horrific activity at this fair. These poor, terrified animals go through hell just for human entertainment. What the hell is wrong with you????

  10. really??? even a woman???

  11. Cynthia Gannon says:

    These people need to get out more. What kind of lives do they lead to find these events interesting. Cruelty to animals is not entertainment you idiot losers.

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