Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Comment: Unfortunately, the Pacific National Exhibition and fairs like this are held in cities and towns all across the country. The exploitation of animals as entertainment is rampant. There are many animal advocates who speak out on behalf of those who have no voice and the following is one sample of such an effort.
August 15, 2007
August 18, 2007
Subject: Animal Exploitation as Entertainment
While the advertising would have us believe that the PNE keeps getting better and offers an assortment of entertainment for the whole family I would like to point out that the exploitation of animals is in no way entertaining. I’m referring to the Safeway Farm Country exhibits which include Richard’s Racers (pigs) and ducks doing tricks. Certainly this type of ‘amusement’ is a thing of the past.
Animal welfare and advocacy groups, as well as the public, have become increasingly sensitive to the way in which our animals are treated and now boycott petting zoos and fairs. Who wants to see livestock denied the freedom to move about, chickens cooped up all day or, rabbits stuck in tiny cages? Such enclosures are completely inadequate to meet instinctive needs, and combined with all the activity and new surroundings it is extremely stressful to all these animals.
And the 4-H Club, teaching impressionable young kids, who are still forming opinions about treatment of animals, that it’s okay to betray your friend for slaughter at auction time, and profit from it as well. Kids grow attached to their goat or cow, and from their experience know full well that these are sentient beings.
The PNE isn’t fun for the animals and as Mr. Hamilton of Lifeforce points out, what goes on behind the scenes and away from the public is far from humane.
I look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter.
August 31, 2007
During the BCCTV last show at
the Pacific National Exhibit they did their annual stunt with their weather
person "racing" with the Richard's Racers pigs. But the pigs did not race. They
stayed at the starting gate. All TV folks appeared quite surprised. One News
Anchor jokingly accused the weather person of dropping feed. Well, the pigs were
eating what may have been extra food.
Comment: CTV has broadcast live from the PNE again in 2008. My letter, asking that they stop condoning this "entertainment."
The PNE finally winds up Labour Day. Safeway Farm Country was back again where kids could "play" with the petting zoo animals, try their hand at milking a cow, and "maybe even watch one being born." They were also invited to check out one of the "entertaining" demonstrations where they could see where their food comes from. And who'd want to miss out on getting some "top grade meat" at the 4-H Auction? The very same cows, pigs, or lambs that kids raised and befriended, now betrayed, and sold to the highest bidder. Richard's Racers, a crowd pleaser, had CTV's Rena Heer racing four of the pigs on closing day. She placed second, ahead of Sir Hamelot.
I can hardly wait for next year.
E. coli infects 13 who visited PNE petting zoo
September 16th, 2009
Vancouver (News 1130) - Several PNE-goers have had a rough ride following their visit to the petting zoo. It's the first time in its 99-year history that the fair has ever been linked to cases of E. coli.
Eleven children and two adults came down with the bacterial infection three days after the fair closed for the summer. It was so bad that three people required hospital care, with one child remaining there.
While E. coli is more commonly transmitted in uncooked meat, the pathogens can also be transmitted through contact with fecal matter picked up by petting animals or touching hand rails or fences. There are significant precautions taken by the PNE to prevent the spread of infection - including signs promoting hand washing and many sanitizers.
September 25, 2009 Five more cases of E.coli have been confirmed by Vancouver Coastal Health in connection with the PNE's petting zoo, bringing the total to 18.
May 1, 2018 update: Three children who allegedly contracted E. coli from a petting zoo at Vancouver's PNE will have to wait at least another year-and-a-half to have their day in court on the grounds that the full extent of one child's complications from her illness may not be known until 2020.
The PNE, Vancouver Coastal Health,and the District of North Vancouver (the location of the farm) have responded with allegations of negligence on the part of the children, their parents or guardians. Those include allegations of improper handwashing and failing to supervise the children. This should be an interesting case to follow.
August 25, 2010 Thanks to all those who put themselves at risk to expose the brutalities of the animal exploitation industry. Behind the public façade are the horrors and abuses that animals of all kinds are forced to endure. And why? Because there’s money to be made - all at the expense of those with no voice. We must unite and fight on their behalf - take action - whatever that may be.
CTV broadcasts live from the PNE and on August 24th we were shocked to hear Pamela Martin reporting a story on a young boy with a pig named Miss Oink. He belongs to the 4-H, and when questioned on whether he felt sad knowing his 4-month old companion he had raised would be going to slaughter, he said “ a little bit, but you get used to it.” What a shocking and upsetting commentary. Betrayal and selling out an innocent animal, all for a few dollars. Seems like life has no value, (or at least it’s subjective) and we wonder why society is becoming more violent? Nothing will ever get better unless this pervasive attitude changes. Shame on CTV and all the sponsors who reinforce archaic stereotypes regarding animals as expendable commodities for human use. On this year’s 100th anniversary, how far have we come?
August 23, 2011 Yet again we see a 4-H member crying and undoubtedly wracked with guilt over what she’s about to do. This year, as reported by CBC, a young girl from the Comox Valley Club was in tears as she led the steer she raised over the last year into the auction ring at the PNE. She knows this is the last time she’ll see her beloved animal. She knows it’s going for slaughter and that she’s betrayed a trust and a bond. Yet adults insist on desensitizing our young people by teaching them that an animal’s value lies in the bottom line. Exploitation for financial gain. To the purchasers, the sponsors, the corporations, the media, - all of us - take a second to think about what is being taught here. It certainly doesn’t make one optimistic for a better and compassionate world.
June 14, 2012 Gaming grants support B.C. agricultural fairs
August 30, 2014 B.C. 4-H program celebrates centennial with new funding
June 26, 2015 More than 240 rabbits die from heat after fair auction
August 26, 2015 comment: We contacted The Province reporters who covered the PNE’s 4-H Auction advising them as to the early and deep indoctrination of 4-H children who are repeatedly exposed to a message of violence, betrayal, and disrespect to sentient beings, portraying non-human animals as expendable commodities to be exchanged for money. Animal agriculture is an immoral and dirty business; that of a bygone era. The media should not be a conduit for such a message. Even kids know better; thus the tears.
Thankfully, Direct Action Everywhere brought attention to this unsavory event by staging a disruption.
May 15, 2018 The Rabbit Advocacy Group of BC contacted the City of Vancouver and the PNE due to concerns over the outbreak and transmission of the aggressive and deadly virus, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD). We received a prompt reply, informing us that the position of the PNE is NO rabbits. The fair runs from August 18 – Sept. 3rd.
The Interior Provincial Exhibition’s annual fair in Armstrong is also disallowing rabbits.
May 30, 2018 update: We received additional information from the agriculture manager at the PNE advising that it “will be following the recommendations for limiting the movement of rabbits in the Fraser Valley and as such, not be contracting any rabbit display animals for 2018.” (there had been reported outbreaks of the virus in a few Langley rabbitries)
With regards to the 4-H rabbit shows, it will take direction from the Chief Veterinarian Officer for BC, BC 4-H and the SPCA to assess the risks as the time gets closer. Should RHD still pose a threat by Aug. 1st, the shows will be cancelled.
August 7, 2018 update #2: We followed up with PNE Agriculture regarding the status of the 4-H rabbit shows at the Fair due to the earlier RHD virus and its spread. We were advised that the PNE will not be holding the 4-H Rabbit show this year. Furthermore, it does not have up-to-date information regarding the level of risk the RHD virus continues to pose. Most of the rabbit 4-H members have switched to cavy projects for the season as a precaution.