Fairgoers in Iowa are once again able to enjoy the iconic “Butter Cow” after animal rights activists vandalized it with fake blood over the weekend.
According to a press release obtained by KCRG, Iowans for Animal Liberation said that the red paint they used to deface the statue “represents the blood of 11 billion animals murdered each year in slaughterhouses, egg farms and dairies.”
The blog Freedom for All Creatures posted a photo of the blood-stained “Butter Cow” and the words “Freedom for All” written in red paint on the refrigerated display case.
The group said that they hid in the agricultural building on Aug. 10 after the Iowa State Fair closed for the evening, and then used a screwdriver to open the refrigerated case.
“Butter Cow” sculptor Sarah Pratt was able to work quickly to scrape off the red paint and have the statue ready for visitors by the time the fair opened on Sunday.
“The fair goers were thrilled with that,” Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright told KCRG. “They got to see her working on it.”
Investigators were reviewing security camera footage, but did not expect that finding the suspect would be easy. Perpetrators would face vandalism and breaking and entering charges, Bright said.
Iowa State Fair Marketing Director Lori Chappell told The Des Moines Register that the crime was “sad” because the “Butter Cow” was an iconic symbol of great things about the state.
“I believe a year or two ago, someone tried to stick a note on it,” Chappell recalled. “But it was butter, so it slipped off.”
This year’s fair also features a “Butter Abraham Lincoln.”
Watch this video from The Des Moines Register, broadcast Aug. 12, 2013.