Indiana County Fair Holds Its First (and Hopefully Last) Pig Wrestling Contest

You’d think that after a pig wrestling contest was cancelled at an Indiana county fair two years ago when organizers were warned it could violate the state’s animal cruelty statute, that would be the end of these cruel competitions statewide.

Wrong.

This month the Kosciusko County Community Fair in Warsaw, Indiana, held its first-ever pig wrestling contest — and it should be the last-ever as well.

During the contest, 14 teams of four people were given 45 seconds to chase down a pig in a muddy pit, carry the terrified animal to the top of a tire and then set it back down in the mud. Audience members shelled out five dollars apiece to watch this inhumane spectacle.

“We’re just simulating what would happen on any pig farm if you need to give it a shot or a wellness check,” pig farmer/contest referee Kyle Bailey insisted.

Mmmkay. While a frightened animal is chased down on on any pig farm, is there also a loud audience cheering on the farmhands, making an extremely stressful situation even scarier for the pig?

Bailey warned contestants that if they grabbed a pig by the ears, pulled its tail or grabbed its legs, they would be disqualified. He said he would blow an air horn if he felt a pig was in danger.

Apparently the distressed squeals that can be heard in various disturbing videos of the event didn’t indicate the pigs were in danger.

“Why don’t you have dogfights and cockfighting while you’re at it? Or how about just let the big kids beat the little kids up?” wrote a Facebook user in one of the many negative comments regarding the videos posted on the Kosciusko County Community Fair Facebook page. “Stop facilitating bullying and animal abuse. ‘Teach your children well.’ Teach them to have respect and compassion, not to torture and abuse. Shame on you!”

One of the participants contended it was all in good, clean but muddy fun. “As far as the negative comments go, we weren’t hurting the pigs,” Madison Jones told Ink Free News. “If anything, we got hurt out of the pig wrestling. They are a lot tougher than us.”

According to the fair’s Facebook page, three human participants were injured during the contest.

Pigs are also a lot smarter than some of us. They are more intelligent than a three-year-old child – and, presumably, more intelligent than anyone who’d want to participate in or watch a contest that terrorizes animals for human entertainment.

The pig wrestling contest was held in the fairgrounds’ grandstand this year instead of the usual “motorized racing,” Ink Free News reports. That event was cancelled due to a lawsuit filed against the fair by nearby residents who said the noise disrupted their quality of life.

So, for some reason, the fair organizers thought it was a good idea to replace an event that was a disruption to humans with one that was cruel to animals and could lead to yet another lawsuit.

“Since when does terrorizing farm animals amount to a fair event?” asked Karen Richards, the prosecuting attorney for Allen County, when she warned its fair organizers in 2016 that a planned pig wrestling contest could be in violation of Indiana’s animal cruelty statue. “Substitute your cat or your dog for the pig and you get the idea of what the statute is for.”

The Allen County Fair organizers heeded her warning and cancelled the event. Hopefully the negative feedback about the Kosciusko County Community Fair contest – or perhaps a similar warning from county prosecuting attorney Daniel H. Hampton about the violation of Indiana animal cruelty laws – will ensure this was a one-time only event.

Take Action!

Please sign and share this Care2 petition urging the Kosciusko County Community Fair board of directors and the county prosecutor to end the pig wrestling contest. If a pig wrestling contest is being held at your local county fair, complain to the county prosecutor’s office — and start a petition of your own!

Want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling? You too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

 

Photo credit: Peter Lindberg/Flickr

109 comments

Ben O
Ben O4 months ago

Signed!

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Michael F
Michael Friedmann4 months ago

Signed, Thank You for Sharing This !!!

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Deborah W
Deborah W4 months ago

PETITION SIGNED ... in case someone in authority can read, relate, and DO SOMETHING. MEANINGFUL -- AND PERMANENT.

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Ruth S
Ruth S4 months ago

Thanks.

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Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle4 months ago

I signed the petition. Pig wrestling can injure participants. It is not a safe sport.

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Deborah W
Deborah W4 months ago

You'd think after a pig wrestling contest was cancelled two years ago that was the end of it. NOT SO. This month the Kosciusko County Community Fair in Warsaw, Ind., held its first-ever pig wrestling contest -- during which 14 teams of four people each team were given 45 seconds to chase down a pig in a small, confined and muddy pit, carry the terrified animal to the top of a tire and then set it back down in the mud. The audience shelled out $5.00 apiece to watch. NOT what would happen on any pig farm if you need to give it a shot or wellness check. No audience, no betting with a cash prize . GOOD, CLEAN MUDDY FUN -- FOR WHO?

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Leo Custer
Leo C4 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Renata B
Renata B4 months ago

Signed 27 July.

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Roslyn McBride
Roslyn McBride4 months ago

Some people's ideas of amusement are beyond comprehension.

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Marija M
Marija M4 months ago

Pig wrestling- are you kidding?

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