Following a story reported by The Newburgh News on Tuesday (here), protesters will converge on the Orange County Fair this Sunday to oppose the “Banana Derby”. The event features live monkeys strapped to the backs of rescue dogs, which then race around a track at fast speeds.
In a press release, Orange County Fair management stated the event had a great reception last year. “Both an entertaining and educational experience, families will learn about the capuchin monkey in between the fast-paced races. Pick your favorite dog and monkey jockey combo, let them hear your support, and watch as the 2022 Banana Derby champion is crowned,” the statement reads.
However, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says the event is cruel and dangerous.
This Sunday, PETA supporters who are outraged by the event will protest outside the Orange County Fair on Wisner Avenue in Middletown beginning at 4:30pm.
“PETA is urging the public to condemn the Orange County Fair for allowing such an abomination,” PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler wrote in a statement this afternoon. “This is an out-of-touch, cruel, and exploitative stunt show that can only cause the monkeys great distress and anxiety.” Metzer noted that the monkeys have been filmed being violently jerked in all directions, risking serious physical injuries.
According to PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited the exhibitor behind this traveling stunt for failing to provide animals with adequate space, environmental enrichment, and clean, wholesome food.
Orange County Fair Manager Rob Weber declared, “The Banana Derby is one of the most popular shows at the fair. It’s extremely unique, there’s no other show like it. We are always looking to provide our community with an opportunity for educational fun.”