After almost a year of campaigning, St Patrick’s Parish in Stephensville, Wisconsin has finally announced they will be putting an end to their annual pig wrestling event after hosting it for 44 years.
“We realize that our parish and diocesan talents could be better spent in areas that are less controversial. It is with great regret that we have discontinued the Original Pig Rassle, we are however, very excited to begin this new tradition (human foosball) at St. Patrick Parish,” announced the parish on their website.
The event was part of a fundraising day which raises around $3,000 for the parish each year and consists on groups of 5 or 6 wrestlers entering a ring together with one pig. They then have 45 seconds to pick up the pig and put it in a barrel.
Global Conservation Group called the event “illegal animal fighting” and collected nearly 100,000 signatures urging the deacon to cancel the event. The group said pigs were “punched in the face, kicked, body-slammed, jumped on, yelled at and thrown into a bucket.”
“It must be noted that the essence of such an event –what makes an event entertaining for the public, is the distress that the animal feels at being pursued and manhandled into a bucket. Although the event has been enjoyed for 44 years, this is not justification that it is without cruelty,” wrote Catholic Online on their website last year before the Pig Rassle took place
Global Conservation Group Chief Investigative Officer Hunter Shaffer said today: “This would not have been possible without the dedication and effort of the tens of thousands of volunteers and animal loving individuals over these past months. We cannot thank you enough. I express my warmest of regards to the church of St Patrick for their change of heart and willingness to do what is right for all involved. I feel as if the success of this campaign will lead to an eventual total reform of how animals are treated in Wisconsin and around the world.”