Zoonotic Disease Warning Issued Over ‘Ham Rodeo’

PETA Warns the Public: 'Wild Hog Catch' Could Sicken the Community

For Immediate Release:
February 18, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Bandera, TexasPETA is issuing a warning about the zoonotic disease potential of the upcoming Bandera Ham Rodeo, a “wild hog catch” in which participants chase, tackle, and terrorize pigs. The group points out that a zoonotic disease is an infection that can jump from animals to humans, such as coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in a Chinese live-animal market.

Will you please share this information with your audience so that those considering attending the event can make a fully informed decision?

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) reports that 10% of feral hogs carry brucellosis—and about half of all human cases of brucellosis reported last year in Texas were of the strain originating in pigs. According to veterinary microbiologists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, brucellosis is “widespread in feral swine in the United States” and the potential for transmission of the disease is “significant.” Feral pigs also carry leptospirosis, salmonella, tularemia, influenza A, and vesicular stomatitis, all of which can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals.

“Chasing and tackling wild pigs leaves them bloodied and causes them to relieve themselves in fear—and that exposes the public to potential disease,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA encourages everyone to contribute directly to local charities instead of giving a dime to this dangerous and cruel event.”

Previously, a PETA tip to the TAHC prompted an investigation and a subsequent warning against the event’s organizers, Nicky Barron and the Bandera Wranglers, for illegally keeping feral pigs without a permit at last year’s event.

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 a human-supremacist worldview. 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