AUSTIN (KXAN) — The animal-rights organization PETA is coming after Austin Bold FC ahead of Wednesday’s home match.
PETA responded to the soccer team’s announcement of its first themed-game night called “Farmer in Del Valle.” The promotion said fans who bring a farm animal to the game get in for free.
PETA calls the promotion “not only cruel, but also reckless since frightened animals are unpredictable.”
In a release, the organization’s executive vice president Tracey Reiman said:
“It’s indefensible to subject animals to the confusion and stress of being packed up, hauled to a soccer game, and subjected to rowdy fans and other animals, all to save the cost of a ticket.”
When the announcement was made last week, Austin Bold said that animals would be taken at the gates and cared for by 4-H students during the game.
PETA says it’s unreasonable for students to tend to the animals in an unfamiliar and chaotic setting, and the threat of pathogens to Bold fans is an unnecessary risk.
The animal-rights group also pointed to the Sugar Bowl incident involving Bevo and the University of Georgia’s bulldog mascot “Uga” as animals acting out of distress in a loud environment.
The University of Texas mascot broke free of its pin before the game in New Orleans on Jan. 1.