- Associated Press - Saturday, February 14, 2015

CORYDON, Ind. (AP) - Organizers of one of Indiana’s oldest county fairs say they have no plans to pull a pig-wrestling event from this summer’s calendar despite objections from animal rights advocates.

The Harrison County Fair has hired a Rushville promoter to put on the wrestling event during the fair in July. Fair board president Jeff Byerly told The Courier-Journal (https://indy.st/1zaJgVG ) in Louisville, Kentucky, that officials decided to bring the event to the fair after it was endorsed as a “great show” at a recent convention in Indianapolis.

Teams of four people will try to catch a pig in a muddy arena within 45 seconds. If they catch the pig, they’ll have to touch it to a rubber tire.

Byerly said contestants are rarely successful.

The River Valley Humane Society in Crawford County says the event mistreats animals. A petition to ban the event has nearly 10,000 supporters, and the group plans to bring its concerns to the fair board next week.

“It’s just a mistreatment of animals, first and foremost,” said Humane Society founder and president Tanya Tuell. “If someone did this to a dog or a cat, they’d be charged with cruelty immediately.”

Tuell also voiced concern that participants will come into contact with urine or feces expelled by pigs that feel threatened.

Byerly said the pigs will have health records and will be walked through disinfectant before getting in the ring. A veterinarian will be on site.

Tuell said the Humane Society will suggest alternatives that include a mixed-breed dog show to advocate pet adoption.

Byerly said he has received calls from around the country from people upset about the fair’s plans.

“It’s gotten really stupid,” he said. “I mean, I have a voicemail on my phone right now from some lady in Oklahoma ranting and raving about this.”

He said board members just want a “good, entertaining show.”

“Nobody wants to see any animals hurt,” he said.

The Harrison County Fair will be held July 12-18 in Corydon.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com


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