On August 1st when the fair reopens the pig scramble will be gone and replaced with an obstacle course.
For more than 20 years the Pig Scramble has been one of Sonoma County fairs annual Farmer's Day activities, but at this year's fair the grabbing and chasing after piglets will be over.
For decades the 🐷 pig scramble has been a popular activity at the Sonoma County Fair.— Luz Peña (@LuzPenaABC7) July 22, 2019
Come August this activity will be gone.
The Sonoma County Fair’s CEO said their decision was made to boost attendance.
Thoughts? @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/TMCjqgd2bj
"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.
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.
The 🐷 Pig Scramble is cancelled at the Sonoma County Fair.— Luz Peña (@LuzPenaABC7) July 22, 2019
Alicia Santorio owns a rescue pig, “Rupert”, and is glad the Pig Scramble is not coming back.
The activity to replace it? An obstacle course where kids will try to carry a greased watermelon 🍉.@abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/l2UC9aoCmJ
"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.