For Immediate Release:
March 15, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Bandera, Texas – Participants in the upcoming Bandera Ham Rodeo may end up catching more than screaming and struggling feral pigs, says PETA in an appeal placed in this week’s Bandera Bulletin. The full-page spread warns participants that the cruel annual event poses a risk of zoonotic disease transmission and asks any Texans who have taken ill after attending a “hog catch” to report their illness to the group. The appeal will also appear in next week’s issue.
During the event, competitors chase and tackle dozens of feral pigs, grabbing them by the ears, tail, or snout and stuffing them into sacks. Attendees, including children, are exposed to pigs’ blood, saliva, urine, and feces—all of which can transmit diseases to humans. Highly contagious brucellosis as well as tuberculosis, leptospirosis, hepatitis E, salmonellosis, and E. coli are among the diseases and bacteria that wild pigs can transmit to humans.
“There’s a catch to the ham rodeo, and that’s the disease risk posed by pigs who become injured or wet themselves in fear,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “Anyone who has fallen ill or developed a rash or fever following this cruel spectacle is encouraged to contact PETA.”
PETA’s investigation into the previously named “Bacon Bash” in Bandera revealed staff dragging young wild pigs by one or more legs around the arena, raking their snouts through the dirt. Many panicked animals leapt face-first into the metal arena fencing as they frantically tried to escape, cutting and bloodying their faces. In the youth event, children were encouraged to chase and “get” the animals.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.