Montreal, July 24 2014 – For 37 years now, the town of Ste-Perpétue has been conducting what has become one of Quebec’s biggest summer festivals. But although it is portrayed and perceived as harmless family fun and entertainment, the organizers, participants and spectators have in reality been celebrating 3 consecutive days of cruel animal abuse.
The treatment of the animals at this festival has just been condemned by the SPCA of Montreal.
“This Festival,” writes Jean-Jacques Kona Boun, DMV, “fails to respect the 5 fundamental rights of animals specified by the l’Ordre des Médecins Vétérinaires du Québec”
Pigs, piglets, hogs, sows and boars are forced to endure terror and torment. Frightened animals are penned in, chased, jumped on, pulled, pushed, battered and bruised by humans without a thought for their panic or pain.
Videos from past Festivals show terrified, desperately squealing creatures being dragged and dropped into containers with no concern for trauma or injury, forcibly held down in watery mud where they cannot breath, attacked from behind and pounced on from heights by people twice their size, some of the humans wearing helmets to protect themselves, with no thought of protection or mercy for their victims.
These innocent animals have no idea why they are suddenly being pursued and terrorized and brutalized by screaming crowds of violent human beings.
Celebrating dominance over helpless animals can only traumatize the more sensitive children and encourage abusive behaviors in the more aggressive children, which can in turn lead to violence and criminality in adult life. Research in psychology and criminology has repeatedly found that people who commit acts of cruelty against animals are likely to hurt their fellow humans too.*
This wanton brutality only brings shame upon Quebec, along with untold suffering for defenseless creatures – suffering of a kind that we would never dream of allowing to be inflicted on our pets, nor on any human being.
The Quebec Manifesto, already signed by more than 46,000 Québécois, call for according animals the legal status of sentient beings instead of property, as now, in order to prevent animal abuses and suffering.
A petition calling on artists not to lend their names or their art to this Festival already has over 1,500 signatures and another petition asking the mayor of Sainte-Perpétue to stop supporting this animal abuse already has more than 18,000 signatures.
Presenters and sponsors of this event are asked to transform it into nonviolent, nonabusive family entertainment, inspiring kindness and compassion in our future generations.
Until and unless the Ste Perpétue Festival is reformed to eliminate all animal abuse, all media and the general public are asked to heed the call of Georges Laraque to boycott this event.
*Ascione FR & Arkow P (Eds) (1999) Child abuse, domestic violence, and animal abuse: Linking the circles of compassion for prevention and intervention Purdue U Press