Some Indiana Fairs Continue Hog Wrestling After Controversy

July 27, 2016 05:18 PM

The muddy tradition of hog wrestling has continued at some county fairs in Indiana this summer though proceeds were down in at least one county.

Monroe, Greene, Owen and Lawrence counties hosted hog wrestling events although they were canceled in Delaware County last year because petitioners complained that using the hogs for entertainment was cruel.

Participation and proceeds were down at the Greene County 4-H Fair in Switz City, The Herald-Times reported. The fair's board treasurer, David Burch, said the event raised more than $10,000 in 2014, about $6,000 in 2015 and just over $5,000 this year.

Burch said he suspects some people might have thought the event was canceled because state 4-H officials asked that local fairs not condone or sanction hog wrestling

Greene County 4-H Council President Russ McDonald said hog wrestling is a fun event that doesn't harm the pigs.

"I mean, I guess it is how you look at it, but I can tell you we are not abusing those animals," McDonald said.

He said two people stand near the pit to make sure the hogs aren't harmed and that there's a veterinarian on site.

"We watch and make sure the animal isn't harmed, and if we see an animal being held under or pulled too hard, we'd stop the event and have the vet on site to check and make sure it was OK," he said. "We take precautions to make sure our animals are in good shape."

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