Animal rights activists today filed a lawsuit against Cal Expo and the University of California claiming animal cruelty. The suit alleges intense confinement of pregnant and nursing pigs at the California State Fair.
Christopher Berry is an attorney with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which filed the suit. Berry says Cal Expo and UC, through the Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, put pregnant, birthing and nursing pigs on display in small, cramped crates which are roughly three feet by five feet, about the size of the mother pig itself.
"We are alleging that this is a violation of the animal cruelty law which explicitly requires that anyone confining an animal must provide an adequate exercise area," says Berry.
Even though the fair decided against displaying piglets for the past couple of years over fears of spreading a fatal pig virus, animal activists are afraid it could be returning.
A Cal Expo spokesman says he was unaware of the lawsuit. UC says the crates protect the health and safety of both sows and piglets and are the industry standard.
A similar case was dismissed by an Alameda Superior Court about three years ago.