PETA calls for an end to annual Pony Swim in Chincoteague
An animal rights organization issued a letter to a local fire company calling for an end to the annual event after a pony's recent death in Accomack County.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says on Tuesday, they sent a letter to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company (CVFC) Public Relation Officer Denise Bowden regarding the recent death of a wild pony. PETA says the pony known as Butterfly Kisses died in a "freak accident" after the 93rd Annual Pony Swim, in Chincoteague. Officials say Riptide was chasing the pony and she slipped into the fence while running. The pony broke its neck as a result of the incident.
In PETA's letter, the organization says they are urging the CVFC to make 2018 the event's final year and to adopt humane fundraising and herd-management methods in the future. PETA President Ingrid Newkirk says, "This pony's needless death is the latest proof that continuing to pen ponies and auction off their foals makes the Chincoteague fire department look increasingly backwards, reckless, and cruel. PETA is calling on organizers to face up to the fact that times have changed and banish this sad spectacle to the history books before another pony is injured or dies."
See PETA's full letter below:
On Tuesday evening, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company issued the following statement on social media stating that the PETA letter was not in their possession at the time of the post and they were made aware of PETA's claim by a reporter seeking comment on the matter. The fire company refutes PETA's claims in the full statement below: