(RNN) – Animal rights activists vandalized the famous Butter Cow sculpture and the refrigerated display case at the Iowa State Fair.
Iowans for Animal Liberation claimed responsibility for throwing red paint on the butter sculpture and painting the words "Freedom for all" on the glass window of the display.
No one was injured in the incident, which was discovered Sunday morning.
Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright told The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, IA, that if the vandals wanted to disrupt the fair for visitors, they failed.
"It was an inconvenience, that's what it boils down to," Bright said Monday. "I think they focused on the Butter Cow because the Iowa State Fair is known for the Butter Cow. I think they tried to hinder people going to see the Butter Cow and, basically, it didn't work."
Sarah Pratt, the sculptor of the Butter Cow, scraped off the paint before the display opened. Fairgoers, however, got to see her fixing the cow, reapplying butter where needed.
The animal rights activists hid in the Agriculture Building on the fairgrounds overnight Saturday, picking the lock of the refrigerated display case with a screwdriver.
"The paint represents the blood of 11 billion animals murdered each year in slaughterhouses, egg farms and dairies," said a release from the animal rights group sent to The Gazette.
A Butter Cow sculpture, usually weighing 600 pounds, is made of wood, metal wire, a steel mesh frame – and, of course, butter. It has been a fixture at the state fair since 1911. Five different women have been butter cow sculptors since then.
At least 1 million people visit annually, according to the Iowa State Fair website, with thousands passing by the famous butter bovine.
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