For over a century, families have flocked to a popular summertime event in the Hudson Valley, enjoying its thrilling rides, delicious food, and live music.
Do you consider the Banana Derby to be animal cruelty?
But come next year, the Orange County Fair in Middletown may have one less attraction if a neighboring town has its way.
Just days before the fair wrapped up its 2022 season, the Town of Wallkill issued a statement Friday, July 29, condemning a show that features Capuchin monkey “jockeys” riding on the backs of dogs while the dogs race.
The show, dubbed the Banana Derby, is described as a favorite among fairgoers and features multiple races and audience participation.
“The Town of Wallkill condemns this practice in its entirety,” reads a statement authored by Wallkill Supervisor George Serrano.
“We urge the operators of the fair to discontinue this attraction and any other practice that results in the mistreatment of animals.”
Serrano went on to say that the Town of Wallkill supports the “safe, proper and humane treatment of animals and will continue to do so.”
Daily Voice attempted to reach Serrano to determine what prompted the statement, but a spokesperson said he had no additional comment.
Attempts to reach organizers of the fair were also unsuccessful.
Commenters on Facebook, however, had plenty to say on the matter.
“These animals are treated cruelly to train them,” Donald Schoonmaker, of Walden, wrote.
“They are kept in horrible conditions. Just shut the [expletive] down. Animals are not for our entertainment.”
“Honestly, can they ban any and all animals at the fair? I feel bad for all of them,” Charazel Rosas, of Pine Bush, wrote.
Others questioned whether the practice actually constituted animal cruelty.
“Obviously they were taught to do that. How the [expletive] is this cruelty to animals?” JoJo, of Newburgh, wrote. “You can’t make this [expletive] up lol.”
Middletown resident Paul Maurizzio simply wrote, “Please worry about real issues.”
Organizers for the Orange County Fair had not publicly responded to the Town of Wallkill’s statement as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2.
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