BANDERA, Texas — An event in the Cowboy Capital of the World is being criticized for allegedly abusing animals.
However, the organizers of the event said the allegations are not true.
“There's no torture. These animals are coming out of a ranch; they are wild hogs, but they were captured on a ranch," said Brandon Nicholson, vice president of the Bandera Wranglers. "And once those events are over they go straight back to the ranch and they are very well taken care of."
The Bandera Wranglers are sponsoring the event after two other groups backed down in the wake of the criticism from the animal rights group.
People in Bandera also said the animals are treated humanely, never cruelly.
“I don't like people who aren't from Texas coming here and telling us how to do our stuff and lying about a lot of stuff, because that's not the way we are,” said Bandera resident Bullet Beard.
Nicholson said the event is designed like a ranch rodeo. He said that ranchers have to chase and sometimes bag the hogs so they don’t bite the ranchers.
“We're taking care of these animals the best that we can, and then they're going back where they came from. So we're not beating up the pigs, we're not ripping out their task, we're not torturing these animals. It's a rodeo event,” said Nick Barron, Bandera Wranglers president.
Organizers said it’s also a fundraiser that benefits the Bandera Boys and Girls Club.
And, they said, the Bacon Bash not only teaches the cowboy way; it’s bringing the community together.
“I think those who are condemning this whole project need to come and just see it, need to see the good that it does. They need to see the way it brings the community together,” Bandera Mayor Suzanne Schauman said.
Folks from Bandera are uniting against the criticism, saying the event will go on.
“The reason we're continuing to host this event is because we're trying to maintain the cowboy way here in Bandera. We’re the Cowboy Capital of the World," Barron said. "We're not going to let anybody who doesn't live here, vote here, own property here or go to school here dictate how we live our lives and what we do."
Barron said some of the pictures posted on the Unparalleled Suffering Facebook page have been photoshopped to make the event look like participants are treating the animals with cruelty.
KENS 5 reached out to Unparalleled Suffering and a spokesperson said that "none of the pictures have been edited beyond lighting or darkening the exposure, basic contrast adjustments.”
The group also said they plan to protest at the event on Saturday, when the Bacon Bash is scheduled to take place at Mansfield Park in Bandera.