New Lawsuit Filed Against Bandera Ham Rodeo

PETA Challenges the Bandera Wranglers Over Cruelty to Animals, Public Disease Risk at Annual Wild-Pig Chase

For Immediate Release:
June 8, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Bandera, Texas – This morning, PETA filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the Bandera Wranglers—the organizers of the Bandera Ham Rodeo, an annual event during which frightened wild pigs are jumped on, dragged through the dirt by their legs, and otherwise harassed and harmed for entertainment—from planning any more “hog catch” contests.

PETA contends that the event violates Texas state law, which prohibits any person from intentionally causing unjustifiable pain, suffering, or serious bodily injury to an animal, as the “hog catch” terrorizes and injures the pigs, including young piglets. And because participants, including children, have been directly exposed to injured animals’ open wounds and bodily fluids (including blood and likely urine and feces), the event poses a zoonotic (transmissible to humans) disease risk. PETA’s lawsuit alleges that these conditions constitute nuisances in violation of Texas law.

“By urging adults and children to terrorize and tackle terrified wild pigs and piglets, we believe the Bandera Wranglers are violating Texas laws designed to protect animals, public health, and common decency,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA’s lawsuit asks the court to end this spectacle of suffering and nuisance and restore community values.”

The most recent Bandera Ham Rodeo, held on March 14, followed the same disturbing pattern of behavior as the 2019 event. Video footage from that year shows staff dragging young, screaming wild pigs by one or more legs around the arena, their snouts raked through the dirt. Contestants chased the petrified animals; grabbed them by the ears, tail, or snout; hoisted them off the ground by the legs; and stuffed them into sacks. 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 eat, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist belief that other animals are nothing more than commodities to use, abuse, and torment at will. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind