MARTINSVILLE - An animal rights group is fighting to stop a small Clark County town tradition.
Steve Hindi, President of SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) says the Barnyard Scramble held each year during the Martinsville Agriculture Fair presents "sick and twisted behavior."
In a YouTube video, SHARK presents clips from the scramble, which feature young children kicking and dropping small farm animals as they chase them around a large pen.
Hindi says he is calling on the Illinois Department of Agriculture to investigate.
In a statement, however, the Department of Agriculture says they have no "prosecutorial powers" when it comes to animal cruelty charges.
The department says "concerns about the conduct at any events" should be turned over to the Clark County State's Attorney.
On Wednesday, the State's Attorney could not be reached for comment, but Martinsville locals told WAND that the scramble is harmless and "fun for the kids."
Alan Buckner, President of the Martinsville Agriculture Fair board says they are taking the concerns seriously and that "our best interest is the animals."