RODEO - A Legalized Abuse of Animals
Rodeo, has been promoted as "great family fun", is in truth nothing more than a blatant exhibition of animal abuse which has no more place in a civilized society than cock-fighting or bear-baiting. It is impossible to have a "humane" rodeo, or one which does not pose serious risk of injury or death to animals. Far from being exercises of human skill and courage over wild beasts as their supporters would have us believe, they are manipulative displays of human domination over frightened and hurting animals.
Around 4000 horses and bulls are used in the over 600 rodeos held around Australia each year, in addition to an unknown number of calves and steers. Rodeos in most states are self regulated, meaning that only a small fraction of animal injuries and deaths ever become public knowledge.
While a horse may buck for fun, rodeo horses buck uncontrollably from torment. The secret is the flank strap, which is tightened painfully around the horse's sensitive flank area as the chute gate is opened. The horse bucks in a futile attempt to escape the discomfort. Rodeo horses do not stop bucking when they have thrown their rider, but only once the irritating strap is loosened. Bucking events cannot be held without this strap. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, banned the flank strap over a decade ago and has not held a rodeo since. The strap can cause bloody and painful open wounds which investigators have found at virtually every rodeo. In addition, bucking horses often suffer back and leg injuries from repeated pounding on hard ground.
Rodeo organisers like to play on the fallacy that bulls are tough skinned and impervious to pain. The absurdity of this is obvious when it is remembered that the skin of cattle is sensitive enough to detect a fly alighting. Bucking bulls not only suffer the same flank strap, spur, muscle and skeletal injuries as horses, but they also typically receive the worst abuse from electric shocking. Cattle are particularly sensitive to electricity, and abusers use this to their advantage to make normally docile animals appear wild and dangerous. A Chicago rodeo organiser is quoted as saying, "Bulls today have been bred to be docile. You can't make an animal buck if you don't do something to it".
Rodeo promoters argue that they must treat their animals well to keep them healthy and usable. A statement from a former steer roper comes closer to the truth: "I keep 30 head of cattle for practice. You can cripple 3 or 4 in an afternoon".
Dr C G Haber, a vet who also worked as a meat inspector, saw many discarded rodeo animals. He described them as so extensively bruised that the only areas in which the skin was attached to the flesh were the head, neck, legs and belly. He saw animals with 6-8 broken ribs, sometimes puncturing the lungs, and as much as 2-3 gallons of free blood accumulated under the detached skin.
Most people with an ounce of compassion can see that there's something wrong with jerking a 3-4 month old baby animal to a halt with a rope around its neck, slamming it to the ground and tying its legs so that it can't move. The frightened calves are usually travelling at high speed when lassoed and hit the end of rope with great force. They may become airborne before crashing to the ground, with a high probability of breaking their back, neck or legs in the process. Tearing of ligaments, disc rupture, damage to the thymus gland, trachea and subcutaneous tissue, and haemorrhaging is also common. If they can still breathe, calves will cry pitifully as would be expected of any terrified baby.
Incredibly, rodeo people have no problem with committing an act of cruelty and cowardice against a baby cow during calf roping. A roping calf is only three to four months old. After that, they become too heavy for the "macho" cowboys to handle.
Calf-roping on the range bears no resemblance to calf roping at the rodeo. In the rodeo, it is a timed event, and indefensible abuse to the calf is the price paid for a competitive time. On the range, calves are roped carefully, and slowly brought to a halt.
On the range, calves are roped for care, or to protect them from danger. In rodeos, calves are endangered for amusement. This "sport" violently and specifically preys upon baby animals, and then calls itself "family entertainment!"
STEER WRESTLING AND ROPING
Steer wrestling requires the rider to throw the steer by jumping onto him from a galloping horse and twisting his neck until he falls to the ground. Not unexpectedly, this can cause muscle, tendon and spinal injuries and well as considerable pain. In the related event of steer roping, the rider lassoes the horns of a galloping steer, then circles him on horseback to pull the rope tight around his legs until he crashes to the ground.
BABY GOAT TYING
Goat tying is an event created to apparently mimic calf-roping, but intended for female contestants. At the National High School Finals Rodeo, terrified baby goats are chased down by contestants on horseback as an appalling excuse for "sport" and "family entertainment".
A goat that is already tethered to a rope is approached by a girl on a galloping horse. Terror-stricken, the goat frantically tries to escape the oncoming horse and abuser. The roper jumps off the horse, slams the tethered goat down and ties its legs. It's a little like tackling someone who is already in handcuffs.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
- Do not attend rodeos or any other events where animals are abused for human entertainment, and tell your family and friends why.
- Encourage as many people as you can to not attend rodeos otherwise it is supporting animal cruelty.
- Boycott rodeos from performing in your area
- Contact your local congressman and urge him/her to ban rodeos from performing within your state area. Many states have already banned rodeos because it is a form of animal cruelty on display as "entertainment."
- Get yourself informed - the following links will provide you with more insights on the real face of "Rodeo Cruel Entertainment":
- SHARK - Animal Cruelty Investigations & Campaigns
- SHARK - Videos
- SHARK - Videos on You Tube
- FAACE - Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe
- Rodeo: Cruelty for a Buck
- Charreada: Bone-Breaking Cruelty
- Buck the Rodeo
- Rodeos @ www.animal-lib.org.au
- Rodeo Pictures
Watching frightened and defenseless animals being tortured and humiliated is not "entertainment." There is nothing to be proud of when it comes to rodeos. These animals are terrified and people actually laugh at their pain.
What kind of humanity is that? Mocking and laughing at another living creature's pain, suffering and humiliation? That is not "family fun" or "entertainment."
That is animal cruelty.