Vandals attack Iowa State Fair's Butter Cow

Published On: Aug 13 2013 07:35:29 AM HST

A group calling themselves Iowans for Animal Liberation is taking responsibility for coating the Butter Cow with red paint at the Iowa State Fair.

The group painted the words "Freedom for all" on the window of the butter cow and then put paint on the sculpture.  The incident was discovered early Sunday morning.

The group said members hid inside the Agriculture Building, emerged after closing time and dismantled a lock on the Butter Cow's case to gain entry to the sculpture.

"The paint represents the blood of 11 billion animals murdered each year in slaughterhouses, egg farms, and dairies," the group said in a statement.

The damage was cleaned up on Sunday before the building was opened to the public.  The paint was removed from the window and Butter Cow sculpture Sarah Pratt came in to scrape off the paint and repair the damage.

"They won't be able to see anything. We were able to get the cooler cleaned up and get the Butter Cow cleaned up. We did not miss a beat in the Ag. Building," said Lori Chappell, marketing director at the Iowa State Fair.

Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright said not much is known about Iowans for Animal Liberation, but he said it is obvious why the group sent a press release.

"I think it is an attempt to get some recognition because we knew about the vandalism. We notified the person who takes care of the cow, Sarah, it was all cleaned up," said Bright.

Those standing in line to see the Butter Cow, on Monday said they would have been very disappointed if the vandalism had destroyed the Butter Cow, as the vandals had hoped.

"It would have been terrible. What's the point of coming all the way out to the Iowa State Fair from New York and not getting to see the Butter Cow," said Oren Mayer.

There are security cameras stationed around the fairgrounds and that footage will be reviewed to see if anyone left the Ag. Building early Sunday morning.

Chappell said the State Fair is looking at some security changes after the incident, but they declined to discuss their plans.

If someone is arrested in connection with the case, they would likely face trespassing and vandalism charges, officials said.


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