Dori Edwards, Global Animal
Animals Australia, an animal protection organization, has diligently investigated rodeos across the continent and witnessed “countless animals frightened, distressed, and put at grave risk of injury or even death.” According to the non-profit, another account of rodeo injury occurred when a bull recently broke his leg while attempting to buck the rider off his back.
On December 26 at Myrtleford Golden Spurs Rodeo, a bull named ‘Madness’ suffered a broken bone that protruded from his debilitated knee. The innocent animal stumbled around the arena in obvious agony until the stockmen forced him behind a blue sheet where he was euthanized.
This horrific incident is not uncommon for rodeo animals. These docile beings are forced by entertainment lusty humans into an environment which causes them immutable pain and stress.
Rodeos rely on creating an environment that provokes the animals’ erratic behavior since, according to the ASPCA, “the rougher the animals appear the more thrilling the event is to the audience.” In order to do so, calves’ tails are often twisted, bulls and horses are forced to wear tight bucking straps that dig into their skin while spurs are kicked into their sides and the former are commonly electrically shocked.
There are many different events at rodeos, each cruel and inhumane. During calf roping, a four-to-five month old calf is chased on horseback by a rider with a lasso. The cowboy must throw the rope around the calf’s neck who is then jerked so hard that he is at risk of neck injury or death.
In steer wrestling, two riders on horseback chase a bull. While one rider corrals the animal, the other jumps on the steer’s horns and twists his neck until he collapses. This frequently results in ripped tendons, muscles or bruises in the bull’s neck. Steer busting, which is outlawed in some states, is when a rider ropes the bull in such a way that he is flipped completely upside down and slammed into the ground on his back. Many fall so hard that they do not survive.
Aside from the abusive exhibition in the arena, these animals are degraded far before they arrive at the event. The beautiful animals are transported in overcrowded trailers without proper ventilation. It is not uncommon for them to be sardine-packed for over 24 hours without enough food or water.
The rodeo is an arrogant practice that must be stopped. Sign the petition to help put an end to this devastating excuse for entertainment.