A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Apr 27, 2011

Cows Don't Need To Give Birth At The Fair-Please Help Stop This

So many of you were horrified at the gunning down of a pregnant dairy cow last year, at the California State Fair. The cow was part of a livestock nursery exhibit in which very pregnant cows, goats and pigs are transported to the fair and are expected to give birth in front of an audience. As you will recall, she was shot several times after she escaped from the nursery. Both she and her unborn calf were killed.

Despite the public outcry, and a wealth of relevant scientific/industry literature decrying the antiquated concept of birthing exhibits that involve stressful travel and confinement of these near term pregnant animals, the Fair's staff is recommending the continuation of the exhibit.

The Cal Expo Board of Directors is meeting this Friday at 12:45 PM (PST) in the Cal Expo Administration Building. It is urgent that we send an email to the Board, calexpoboard@calexpo.com and ask them to consider alternative ways, like web cam links, videos, virtual simulations and models to demonstrate a birth rather than actually transporting, crating and stressing a frightened, hormonal pregnant animal to perform this feat for an audience. After all- we are the public that attends the fair! What if we didn't?

What are we really teaching our youth with such a display? I can tell you that it is not respect, empathy, or compassion for living things, but rather, that it is okay to bully and exploit those that can't defend themselves.

UPDATE:  In response to the testimony, the Cal Expo Board of Directors stunned the crowd by saying that they were not considering whether or not to continue the live birth exhibit, but rather, whether modifications were made to it to protect the crowd from escaping animals, and that the exhibit would continue for now.


  1. This is disgusting that that was allowed. For shame.

  2. The Fair Board refuses to budge. Possibly they have lucrative "contracts" with ranchers to artificially inseminate cows to give birth just within the expo time span. (Calves are not usually born in the heat of Sacramento's 100 degree plus heat.) Also, the CalExpo CEO tries to pass "live birth" gawking off as "educational." Well, tell the truth then: Show the calf being drug away from its mother so that the cow's milk can be sold to humans. Let the public hear the wailing of both cows and calves at being separated (year after year until the cow is "spent"). If they are sincere about "education" for live births, then show a human live birth. Live birth viewing creates an unnatural, spectator viewing which exploits animals for the "show" at the fair. It should be stopped immediately.