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 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.


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.


- 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 @
- 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.


Anonymous said...

I feel you are uneducated in the matter of the sport of Rodeo. It is a fact that it is extremly rare that any animal is harmed at any time during a rodeo. Sure there are acedents but I wouldn't go as
far as to say it was abuse. The stock used is very well cared for receiving grain and quality hay. It is NOT harmful to the animal to be roped and/or tied. In fact being a goat tyer and loving pet owner I have yet to harm any animal in or out of the sport of rodeo. Bulls used for bucking get the chance to live a long more fufilling life. You seem not to undersand the situation. Rodeo is an amazing sport and I think it is very rude to post miss leading information and incourage the banning of rodeo! I love my animals and feel rodeo is a way for me to bond with my awsome horses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;(

sure girls said...

Ummmmm.....WTF? Do you even know anything about rodeo?? As you sit there and eating your jello and wearing your leather shoes reading this you don't understand rodeo at all. Rodeo is a way of life for many people in the world. Also your facts are so off!!! Like baby goat tying??? What are you talking about those goats are not "babies". And did you know that before PETA was even thought about, rodeo had rules for the ethical treatment of the animals involved in the sport of rodeo. Put in to affect by by many rodeo assoation including the National High School Rodeo Assosation.

Alan D said...

I am starting a petition to ban rodeos in Canada. I think I am right and you think you are right. I will tell you what I will go out with my petition and you start one of yours if you get more signatures than me I will shut up and eat my Jello, but if I get more than you then I will have a bowl of jello for you


Recently I have taken an active interest in NewZealand’s animal welfare group known as SAFE, who looks out for all animals and protects their rights. I understand form their website that your organisation is a major sponsor in rodeo and rodeo related activities. I would appreciate anyone reading this letter to take time to address my concerns or at least try and understand my viewpoints on these activities.
Firstly I think that rodeos are about domination and power. They are promoted as rough and dangerous exercises to test human skill and courage. These events are advertised as ‘cowboys conquering the fierce, the untamed beasts of the wild west’. In reality rodeos are little more than manipulative cruel displays of human domination over animals, portrayed to the public as an entertaining day of fun for the whole family. Cowboys are motivated by profit and greed and also the desire to become a ‘real man’. Rodeos should be about a safe challenge and real motives. Take professional athletes for example, what motivates them to start playing soccer or score the world cup winning touchdown? When asked this question most athletes go quiet and become childlike. This is because they are brought back to their childhood and most of them answer the question with “I saw them on TV and said I want to do that!” What about rodeo participants? Does this cruel activity run in their family for generations? Or are they motivated by pure greed and glory?
Secondly I believe such behaviours as bucking and biting are provoked by abusive techniques such as a buck strap and electric cattle prods because horses and cows aren’t naturally aggressive. Spurs and buck straps are commonly used to enrage the animals. As the blind crowd watches and cheers for the cowboys they don’t realise that a strap is tightly cinched around the animal’s abdomens to cause vigorous displays of bucking and rearing. The animal only bucks because its instincts tell it to try and rid itself of the torment, which is what the rodeo promoters want it to do in order to put on a good show for the crowds. Horses and cattle may be prodded with an electrical ‘hotshot’ to clear them of the stall or chute faster, the cowboys realising selfishly that this action will cause intense pain and stress to the animals. In the calf roping calves are roped in their routine run at top speeds reaching up to 35kmph, when they reach the end of the rope the animals can suffer severe neck injuries and sometimes even death. I understand that speed is a major factor in rodeo events for the animal and the cowboy. Even though cowboys voluntarily risk self injury by taking part in the first place, animals have no such choice are strained to run and suffer a cruel day of death stress and pain.
Lastly, do we want to teach our children that it is ok to use and abuse animals for our own entertainment? It’s about time rodeos were banned on council property and welfare grounds. Certain claims have been made that rodeos contain no violence towards the animals. However, anyone that has witnessed this horrible torture will understand that flank straps and electric devices are used to get a desired reaction out of the animal. The fact that the animal is only in the ring a few seconds does not justify the violence stress and injury the animals are subjected to.

this is the letter I wrote to my local paper and primeminister:)

check out my you tube and skype page
or my hotmail

Anonymous said...

Statistically, the rate of injury to the animals is relatively low. In 1994, a survey of 28 sanctioned rodeos was conducted by on-site independent veterinarians. Reviewing 33,991 animal runs, the injury rate was documented at .047%, or less than five-hundredths of one percent.

Please note.....INDEPENDENT veternarians!!! Do you know what the FATAL injury rate of racehorses in the US in the year 1992? 1.6%....34 times higher than rodeo injuries...which included NON fatal injuries ! Two Thoroughbred racehorses die (on average) every day in North America. Are you against Thoroughbred racing too?

Seventy-six greyhounds, out of a total of 462 injuries.... broke their legs racing last year at Dairyland Greyhound Park....ONE race track. Wow!!!

How many police dogs are injured or killed in the line of duty? Are you against that too?

Read this:;page=1
Not one mention of a leading cause of equine injury.

Read this:
Again, not one mention of rodeo being a great supplier of horses to the meat market. You would think, the way these videos are edited...there would be a BUNCH of horses up for grabs!

Have you seen the way the mares drop and leave their foals on the Pregnant Mare Urine farms? Their urine is collected which produces the estrogen-replacement drug Premarin®. Many of the foals are sent to "meat" plants.

And, PLEASE....don't compare what the animal is feeling by putting yourself in it's place. I can't stand it when someone would you like it if someone roped you around your neck......!!!!! Humans are FAR more wimpy than animals. Our skin is 1/7 of the thickness of the hide of horses and bovine...our muscles structure is FAR less as strong. And, animals don't think like we do. If you believe that they do...then don't be taking a pup away from a mother for your pet, oh so cruel!

Accidents happen, I don't disagree....but it appears less often in rodeo than you make it out to be. I think you should be going against thoroughbred racing....much more dangerous for the animals!

If you are that concerned about abuse of you dodge every animal while driving? What about the bugs that hit the windshield?

I know you laugh....but....these videos are made to make a sport LOOK FAR worse than it really is...words and descriptions are used like a writer is writing a love scene in a manual. THAT'S what pisses me off!

Bluewater lady said...

I cannot even read any of these I am sick to my stomach...Please stop !!!

Anonymous said...

You do not know anything about rodeo. All the information you have given is false. rodeo is a job and a life style. Both of which comes with a risk. Rodeo helps animals. A lot of the animals that attend in rodeos are meant to go to slaughter houses. So would you rather have some animals killed for no reason??? seriously! Rodeo is amazing and a american tradition. Let rodeo live one!

Anonymous said...

Of course, people who enjoy rodeo will not admit the abuse. They have to convince themselves that using these animals for entertainment, money making and an adrenaline rush is OK.