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Stephensville parish's pig wrestling event draws controversy

STEPHENSVILLE, WI (WTAQ) - It's been going on for 44 years -- but now that animal rights supporters object, law enforcement will be at a church's pig wrestling event on Sunday.

As of Saturday morning, over 42,000 people have signed petitions at Change.Org demanding the cancellation of the Pig Rassle in Stephensville, 15 miles northwest of Appleton.

The Global Conservation Group of Watertown posted the petition. It says pigs are punched, kicked, body-slammed, and thrown into buckets.

The group says the event violates state laws on crimes against animals. It's part of the annual Round-Up Days at St. Patrick Parish in Stephensville.

Deacon Ken Bilgrien tells the Appleton Post-Crescent that not one pig has been injured in the entire 44 years of the event -- monitors make sure the animals are safe -- and it's being done in fun.

Outagamie County sheriff's captain Mike Jobe does not expect a big crowd of protesters, and his department won't have a large presence there. He says they'll react to "whatever presents itself."

In Jobe's words, "The church has rights, too ... They can do what's legal."

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)