Animal rights activists say an annual event at an Upstate NY County Fair is animal abuse.  What do you think?

A popular attraction at one of New York State's longest-running state fairs will be retired after animal rights activists protested the event.

July 31st was the last day of the Orange County Fair in Middleburgh, NY - and judging by the large crowds in attendance, it appeared to be a successful upstate event.

From July 14-31st, Upstate NY fair-goers enjoyed the fried food, midway rides, livestock, demolition derby, and unbeknownst to them, one final season of the "Banana Derby."

What is the Banana Derby and is it animal cruelty?

The Banana Derby is a popular fair and carnival event that travels across the country in which a capuchin monkey serves as a “jockey” and is strapped to dogs and runs around a racetrack for treats and people's amusement.

Back in mid-July, protestors came out in droves to denounce the Orange County Fair attraction that they say is cruel and dangerous - calling it "animal cruelty."

Action leaders from PETA say it's dangerous and cruel, and here's what was posted to Facebook recently by the organization vehemently opposed to the race:

"Strapping monkeys to dogs and forcing them to race at neck-breaking speed is inhumane and likely illegal, because it puts the animals at risk of serious injury, and the chaos causes them intense fear and anxiety."

The Town of Wallkill agrees, and future races with monkeys on top of dogs won't be permitted according to a report in the Daily Voice.

“The Town of Wallkill condemns this practice in its entirety...We urge the operators of the fair to discontinue this attraction and any other practice that results in the mistreatment of animals,”  Wallkill Supervisor George Serrano said in a statement.

Check out a recent Facebook post by Rachel J Levy Ejsmont, where you can see dozens of protestors holding signs condemning the Banana Derby, as well as some videos where the monkeys appear to be mishandled.

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