PETA, Newport squabble over greased pig event

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NEWPORT, N.H. - PETA and the town of Newport, New Hampshire have gotten into a squabble over historic traditions revived at the 100th Winter Carnival.

NH1 reports that in the past, Newport had greased pig events for their winter carnival. For the centennial celebration, they thought it was a great idea to honor the old tradition.

“It’s a historical event and we wanted to bring it back," said PJ Lovely, Newport's Recreation director.

Steven Smith is one of the winter carnival’s committee members and said when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, also known as PETA, heard about the greased pig event, they demanded an explanation. 

“I got a lot of emails from PETA and a lot of backlash from what they didn’t know was going on," said Smith. 

However, a real pig was never in the original plan of the “greased pig on ice” event. Instead, a local man was going to dress as a pig, and skate around the rink. 

"I'll be the pig, I'll bare the laughs out there," said Glen Halleck, the man who planned to dress up. 

Smith says he answered all of PETA’s questions, but idea of using a real pig wasn't discussed.

"When they were doing their investigation, they never asked what was happening, so since they didn’t ask, I didn’t tell them," he said. 

Smith was upset and surprised when he received a statement from PETA describing what the town of Newport and their recreation department planned on doing at the Winter Carnival

“They made up this whole story about taking a pig and shoving it in a barrel and hundreds of screaming kids screaming at it so they made up this whole story without asking us what was going on," he said.
 
PETA has since released a statement saying in part that Smith had ample opportunities to share with PETA what he now says was his plan all along, but chose not to. Smith said if they asked the right questions, then they would have gotten the right answers.
 
"It’s not my job to do their research," said Smith.