Legal victory

Public prosecutor bans cruel “pig chase” in southern Brazil

Some people think terrorizing and torturing a pig is entertainment. A public prosecutor thinks not.

Physical and psychological torment.

A public prosecutor in the south of Brazil has sided with animals and banned a cruel event involving chasing and wrestling a pig. Roberto Lofego Caníbal, from Rio Grande do Sul, issued the decision on Friday (22), which includes hefty fines for those who defy the decision. The next edition of the event would take place on Sunday, November 24.

Called “Caça ao leitão” (“Pig chase”), the event is hosted by the city of Nova Petrópolis, on the mountains of Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil’s southernmost region. The region is home to predominantly Italian and German descendants.

A piglet is let loose and participants chase and grab them, often in a violent way. Meanwhile, an audience screams and cheers participants on, causing even more terror to the animal.

The event is split into age categories and one of them is for children aged four to five.

“The cruelty against the animals involved is all too evident,” wrote Caníbal. “Although there are no veterinary reports to confirm the fact, any citizen is capable of observing it. All it takes is a small amount of sensibility.”

The scared pig is often grabbed by the ears, paws, tails and other sensitive parts, as photographic evidence shows. They are terrified during the event and desperately try to escape from the torment.

“All of this in the name of entertainment,” the prosecutor added. “The simple act of chasing them, producing agony and terror in them, is in itself an act of cruelty.”

The criminal action against the city of Nova Petrópolis and Associação Cultural e Esportiva Concórdia de Linha Imperial, which organizes the chase, was filed by an animal protection organization called União Pela Vida. Non-compliance with the judicial decision will generate a fine of R$50,000 (US$21,000) for every edition of the event.

The city of Nova Petrópolis said it will respect the decision whereas Associação Cultural e Esportiva Concórdia de Linha Imperial said it would appeal.

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