During the California State Fair, a pregnant cow escaped prior to the fair opening and was eventually shot and killed. The cow was part of the live birth exhibit in which heavily pregnant animals are transported from farms and forced to give birth in front of spectators.
Every year, thousands of cows, goats, sheep and pigs are transported during the last 10% of their pregnancy to be part of live birth exhibits at both county and state fairs. While supporters claim these offer educational insight on the "miracle of birth", there is no scientific study to support that claim. There is, however, ample evidence that the transport of heavily pregnant animals is damaging to the health and welfare of both mother and offspring. Further, cows and pigs prefer giving birth in solitude, not in public, yet they cannot escape gawking onlookers at the fair.
Pregnant sows (pigs) are confined in crates so small they cannot turn around. These farrowing crates severely restrict the sow's movement. Supporters claim this will prevent her from eating or crushing the piglets, yet somehow pigs on free-range operations and at sanctuaries manage to avoid doing this.
The welfare concerns of live birth exhibits significantly outweigh any educational value the public may have. The shooting death of the pregnant cow at the California State Fair only highlights the underlining issue, that pregnant animals should not be transported and put on display during the sensitive, stressful birthing process.
Tell the California State Fair Board that live birth exhibits have no place at the State Fair.
Sign the petition today!