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Group urges Catholic parish to cancel human-pig mud wrestling event

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(If you’d like musical accompaniment with this article, click on the video at the bottom of the post, then scroll back up to read.)

The mission of St. Patrick’s Parish in Hortonville, Wisconsin, is to “be one with Christ in making the reign of God a reality … celebrate His love in Word and Sacraments … and be responsible stewards of time, talent, and treasure.”

Yet the Catholic parish has no problem sponsoring a fundraising event in which frightened pigs are punched, kicked, body-slammed and crammed into steel vats.

Apparently, they don’t see pigs falling under their “stewardship.” Or they think that “dominion” we supposedly have over all God’s other creatures includes the right to thrash farm animals in the name of sport. Or maybe the 44-year-old tradition is just too big a moneymaker to cancel.

Canceling the event — scheduled for this weekend — is what a Wisconsin-based animal advocacy group is calling for.

The Global Conservation Group says the event violates state laws prohibiting cockfighting, dogfighting, and other fighting between animals or between animals and humans. They say even being a spectator at such an event is a felony under state law.

The parish says the annual “Round Up” event consists of two to six people getting into a muddy ring and wrestling a hog — one they say is “sized accordingly” — into a vat.

“We take very strong precautions to make sure our pigs and our participants are taking care of each other,” organizer Glenn Van Handel, the chair of Saint Patrick’s Parish, told NBC 26.

The Global Conservation Group says the pigs face a high potential for being injured in the event, in which it says pigs are punched in the face, kicked, body-slammed, jumped on, yelled at and thrown into a bucket.

The group says it has filed reports with local, state and federal agencies alerting them to what they say is an illegal event.

A petition urging the church to cancel the event can be found at change.org

(Photo: Change.org)

Comments

Comment from Mary
Time August 8, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Thanks for posting the link to the Change petition.

Comment from Anne’n'Spencer
Time August 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm

And they’ll all go to Mass on the feast of St. Francis. Bah!

Comment from vida
Time August 9, 2014 at 2:31 pm

People have tried to contact the Pope, don’t know how that will shake out but it can’t hurt. I hate the whole idea that abusing animals is fun or just a matter of tradition. It’s horrible that cruelty is condoned by a church, wrong on every level.

Comment from carol schetley
Time August 10, 2014 at 9:53 am

I was just wondering what the pope would think of this animal abuse.even if they dont hurt them physically they are scareing them badly. Let someone do that to them and see how they feel.then they slauter them.

Comment from carol schetley
Time August 10, 2014 at 9:58 am

My email address is taken after bacon my pot belly pig.we couldnt enev think about doing something like that to her or our other pig porkie.im sorry for going on so much about this but it is really upsetting me.

Comment from Kristy Kirstin
Time August 11, 2014 at 2:42 am

this is why I no longer go to church or practice my Catholic religion. They are cruel hypocrites to hurt animals.

Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time August 11, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Sorry, but just 3 letters: WTF
When oh when will people equate daily unbelievable everyday violence to how we treat animals? Despite moderate progress over past decades, we humans still delight in animal atrocities such as this. AGREE with earlier post that this event’s promoters should FIRST be subject to same. Thanks JW for bringing this to light.

Comment from Dorothy McElwain
Time August 12, 2014 at 11:54 am

OMG what kind of religious organization is this. Catholic – what kind of a priest would allow this in his parish. Oh well, we all know what goes on in these catholic churches any more. Pure shame on this church.

Comment from Ann Hodgman
Time August 13, 2014 at 8:21 am

This is a disgusting tradition, a real black mark for your church. As Christians, we’re called to be stewards of God’s creatures. As citizens, we’re meant to obey the law. You’re violating both moral and legal statutes. You’ll have to spend thousands when you’re taken to court, and thousands of Facebook pages are being set up to vilify your parish. Can you really justify what you’re doing here?

Comment from Karin McKenna
Time August 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm

This is a very sick group of Catholics. Can you imagine what they do to other domestic animals as well as wildlife when they are in private? They are proud of their sick amusement – just like the ancient Roman Coliseum spectacles of animals vs humans – we now have these Roman Catholic spectacles. HOW MANY VETERINARIANS were there to check the pigs after the event before they were sent to slaughter? The audacity of this “parish” to abuse and torture these creatures before sending them to slaughter. May they all deserve whatever fate lies in store for each of them – to show no mercy for these sentient beings? This parish, the priest and bishop have brought shame to us Catholics.

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