LIVINGSTON – Ten days before the start of the 82nd annual Livingston Parish Fair, the Humane Society of Louisiana has launched an online petition against awarding live animals as prizes.
A news release was sent out by email Thursday by Human Society Director Jeff Dorson announcing the petition and calling for a boycott of the fair.
The Livingston Parish Fair runs Oct. 5-13.
The news release said the Humane Society is urging carnival and fair organizers to stop giving away animals or face a strong backlash on social media.
Lynn Sibley, president of the fair board, said her phone and email have been inundated with messages that she cannot repeat, calling them “ugly, ugly, ugly messages.”
“I assure you no animals are given away without parental consent,” she said.
Mitchell Brothers, which has the contract to provide rides and games at the fair, offers prize winners a choice between a live animal or a stuffed one, Sibley said.
Dorson has been in touch with her and the board before, Sibley said, but no compromise was discussed.
Sibley said the issue has come up in previous years, usually right before the fair opens.
“We are asking people from around the state and country to contact the Livingston council members and fair organizers to ask them to stop this practice,” Dorson said in the news release.
“There is nothing amusing about abusing animals. Giving away a stuffed animal is a far better alternative than giving away a living creature,” he said.
The Humane Society cited the cost associated with having a pet: food, an enclosure, water bottles, heat lamps and vaccinations or health exams.