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There were quite a few disgruntled punters down at the Arklow Seabreeze Festival yesterday, after the annual Pig Derby was cancelled.
The reasoning behind the pulled pork surprise turned out not be an animal welfare issue though, but the threat of African Swine Fever.
Explaining the cancellation, the organisers stated that ‘On the advice of Andew Doyle, Minister of State for Food, Forestry & Agriculture, with the recent threat posed by African Swine Fever (ASF) to the Irish Pig Industry, Arklow Seabreeze Festival have made the decision to postpone this year’s Pig Derby from their programme of events.”
The omission of the Pig Derby from this year’s festival will no doubt please the near-12,000 signatories who have campaigned online to have the event cancelled for animal welfare reasons.
The race – which has been running for 25 years – takes place on Arklow’s main street, where five pigs are raced five times, with people placing bets of €2.
The organisers state that the pigs involved receive the best of care, whilst those protesting the annual event have branded it barbaric and cruel.