Members of the public permitted to torment and terrorise calves for fun during a Boonah Show event

2nd June 2016

Animal Liberation Qld (ALQ) is calling on the state government to ban ‘calf scruffing’, following the release of video footage showing frightened animals being manhandled and tackled to the ground by members of the public who participated in this event at the Boonah Show last weekend.
 
Calf scruffing is a contest for teams of two people where one person in each pair seizes and hangs on to the head of a calf after it is sent running from a chute, while their partner grabs the tail, with the goal being to bring the animal to ground in the fastest possible time.
 
ALQ Vice President, Gayle D’Arcy, said: ‘The unacceptable treatment of the animals during the calf scruffing event at the Boonah Show has strong parallels to the recent scandal involving King’s School students chasing and tackling sheep. On both occasions, animals were placed in situations causing them obvious distress with absolutely no valid justification.’
 
‘The King’s School students’ handling of the sheep received widespread condemnation from the RSPCA and industry groups. We believe that the practice of calf scruffing warrants a similar spotlight due to its mindless animal exploitation,’ Ms D’Arcy added.
 
In ALQ’s footage of the Boonah Show calf scruffing event, a contestant is heard discussing his ‘plan of attack’ which involves putting his fingers into the calf’s nostrils to which the announcer responds, ‘Just choke him out you reckon?’ The announcer is later heard joking about seeing another contestant putting a ‘squirrel grip’ on a calf.
 
Ms D’Arcy said, ‘Impressionable children watching calf scruffing receive the very poor message that it is somehow acceptable for the purpose of human amusement to torment farm animals in ways that would never be tolerated with pets such as dogs or cats.’
 
‘In 2016, when the vast majority of Australians expects decent and respectful treatment of animals, calf scruffing no longer meets society’s expectations. Any show society in Queensland that still holds this event should immediately reconsider its inclusion in their programs. In addition, we are also urging the state government to ban this practice'.

Footage available for download
 
For further comment:
Gayle D’Arcy | Vice President | 0412 024 564
Chay Neal | President | media@alq.org.au

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