Surrounded by a crowd of yelling spectators, four curious piglets trot around a large dirt enclosure, sniffing and rooting around in their new surroundings.
A loud horn goes off, and suddenly a horde of teenagers comes stampeding toward the young pigs, grabbing and pulling them by their legs so they can’t flee.
Others run full speed and body-slam the animals to the ground as they try to escape. The piglets are screaming and writhing in fear — but the crowd cheers in delight.
This was the scene Melody Paris, of Georgia Animal Rights and Protection (GARP), watched in horror two years ago, after being tipped off about the event by a concerned citizen.
Hosted each September in Barnesville, Georgia, the annual “pig chase” has been happening for the past 40 years — and is part of a festival hosted by the city’s chamber of commerce to bring the community together and promote local businesses.
But all this component does, Paris argues, is torture animals for entertainment.