A debate over the Arklow pig Derby which takes place during the Seabreeze has gone national.
Animal activist Ciara Fitzgerald started an on-line petition earlier this week, in a bid to stop the Pig Derby which has been signed by nearly 2,000 people.
The Seabreeze committee issued the following statement on Wednesday night.
“The Arklow Seabreeze Festival Pig Derby has been running for many years now and has proved to be one of the most popular events of the entire Festival annually.
It is a series of short ‘races’, five in total, where the pigs are brought in under the supervision and care of the farmer who reared the pigs.
The welfare of the pigs is of the utmost concern and importance to us, and we feel that this will hold up under rigorous scrutiny. We take a very proactive approach to this ensuring that the animals have plenty of food and water, a pig handler is also present to ensure no harm or cruelty is inflicted on any of his pigs.
On very sunny and warm days we have even applied sun tan cream on the pigs to ensure they do not get sun stroke as their skin is very sensitive, as I am sure do all the other festival pig race organisers around the country including: Watergrasshill, Co. Cork, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, Belmullet, Co. Sligo, Portlaoise, Co. Laois, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Killaloe, Co. Clare, Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick and Cahir, Co. Tipperary, to name but a few.
Arklow Seabreeze Festival Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for the overwhelming support we have received this week for the Pig Race and indeed the Festival as a whole.”
Arklow Seabreeze Festival Committee
This morning RTE Radio, Newstalk and East Coast FM are all covering the story.