Church organized "Pig Rassle" raises controversy - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Church organized "Pig Rassle" raises controversy

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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY (WKOW) -- Claims of animal abuse against an Outagamie County church.

St. Patrick parish in Hortonville has held a "Pig Rassle" for more than 40 years as part of its roundup celebration.

This year's will happen Sunday, but a Wisconsin group calls the event illegal and is trying to get it canceled.

Deacon Ken Bilgren of St. Patrick Parish says, "It's scary. When someone can go out there with a blatant lie and put pictures on an international media and we have no way of defending ourselves."

Deacon Bilgren says he's frustrated by this petition on

It was created by global conservation group based in Watertown in Southeast Wisconsin and has more than 19,000 supporters.

Deacon Bilgren says, "They say we're having a pig fight, no we are not."

He says the annual "Pig Rassle" is a fun event that attracts hundreds of people each year.

In a pen, participants have 45 seconds to get a pig to the front of a barrel. The Deacon says the pigs are taken care of and none have ever been hurt.|

The petition says this event exploits and frightens animals.

It says they are quote "punched in the face, kicked, body slammed, jumped-on and thrown into a bucket."

The Outagmaie Sheriff's office says it hasn't received a credible claim about any wrongdoing so its not investigating right now.

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