Californians: Ask the Cal Expo Board to Compromise on the Live Birth Exhibit
Each year, pregnant cows, pigs, goats and sheep are transported to the California State Fair to give birth publicly at the Nursery Exhibit. In 2010, a pregnant Holstein cow escaped her pen. Expo police chased the frightened animal down in an SUV and shot her multiple times, killing both her and her calf.
Despite pressure from animal protectionists across the state, the Board refuses to eliminate the birthing exhibit in its entirety.
What’s wrong with the birthing exhibit?
- Puts pregnant animals at risk: On farms, the procedure for birthing is to leave or isolate the animal in a quiet area. At the Fair, pregnant animals are put in a new area where they cannot escape or hide. The animals are further harassed by screaming children, loud rides, and at night, fireworks.
- Creates a health risk: Despite attempts to prohibit children and adults from touching newborn piglets and calves, animals still interact with the public. This is a public safety issue, putting children at risk of contracting diseases.
- Pigs are crammed into tiny crates: Like on pig farms, pregnant sows are confined into cages so small, they cannot turn around. This can lead to abnormal behavior, like self-mutilation. Additionally, the crates used at the State Fair cause irritation to the skin from lying on metal too long.
- Calves are removed from their moms: This is normal on dairy farms, so that the milk can be sold for human consumption. At the Fair, this separation leaves the cow and calf more anxious, as they are in a completely unfamiliar setting.
For the past two years, animal advocates have tried to convince the Board to stop the live birth exhibit with little success.
It is now time to offer a compromise.
In lieu of eliminating the live birth exhibit, ask the State Board to eliminate cows and pigs from the nursery exhibit.
Cattle and pigs are the animals most stressed by the nursery exhibit and would benefit most from not being there. Sheep and goats generally come from smaller farms, have more experience with humans, are provided appropriate birthing space, and the lambs and kids are kept with their mothers.
If you live in or outside of California, sign our petition.
TAKE ACTION - Write a letter
If you live in California, please use our form letter and write to Norb Bartosik, Cal Expo General Manager, asking for the compromise. Please personalize the letter.