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PETA, other groups to protest frog gigging fundraiser in Tennessee

8:58 PM, Jul 12, 2013   |    comments
Organizers of "Giggin' for Grads" said every frog killed will be eaten. Frog legs like these are a staple for frog giggers.(Photo: The Tennessean)
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By Adam Tamburin, The Tennessean

National groups have mobilized to protest a fundraiser in Tennessee Friday night that will reward the top hauls in a frog gigging contest.

Participants of all ages can pay $15 per person to participate in the "Giggin' for Grads" event sponsored by the DeKalb County Young Farmers and Ranchers. Proceeds will go toward a scholarship for a local student interested in agriculture.

The winner, who spears and collects the 15 heaviest frogs, will receive a prize.

"It's for a good cause that increases education in the area," said Dan Strasser with the Tennessee Young Farmers and Ranchers state committee.

PETA and other national groups have urged protestors to flock to the event tonight and to call DeKalb County High School to ask them to fund-raise in a different way.

"Gigged frogs experience extreme pain and terror when stabbed through their sensitive skin, tissues, and organs," a statement from the animal rights group said. "These vulnerable animals experience a slow, agonizing death."

A Facebook page for the event has been dominated by a debate over the ethics of gigging frogs for weeks.

"People in our community already hunt frogs, so why not take advantage of that and raise money?" a statement on the page read. "It is no different than a fishing tournament. All the frogs will be eaten afterward. We will do our best to promote ethical hunting strategies to our contestants and for the frogs to die quickly."

The event will begin with registration at 7 p.m. and last until 1 a.m. Organizers said they are expecting protestors.

"Everyone's opinion is welcome," Strasser said.

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