Cowtown Cruelty Prompts Call For Ban On Rodeos

Duke fell to the ground, flailing, 25 seconds after being electro-shocked.
Photo credit:

(RODEOS) Leading animal behavior expert Marc Bekoff is calling for a ban on rodeos after the sudden death of horse named Duke during a live performance at Cowtown Rodeo in New Jersey. An undercover video taken by a member of the animal rights group, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), has been released showing the Hot Shot device being used on Duke just before he collapsed and died. SHARK is working with the New Jersey SPCA to file animal cruelty charges against Cowtown Rodeo. Yet even after a shocking video of the incident went public, Cowtown Rodeo still claims Duke died of natural causes and was not electroshocked. What’s more, Cowtown’s owner Grant Harris refers to the death as “a rare incident.” Read on for more details on Bekoff’s proposed ban on rodeos and rodeo cruelty. — Global Animal
Duke fell to the ground, flailing, 25 seconds after being electro-shocked.  Photo credit:
Duke fell to the ground, flailing, 25 seconds after being electro-shocked.
Photo credit:

Leading Animal Behaviorist Calls for Ban On Rodeos After Tragic Horse Death at New Jersey Rodeo

Video Released Proving Horse was Electro-shocked 25 Seconds Before He Began to Die

New Jersey – Award-winning animal behavior expert and author, Marc Bekoff called for a ban on using horses in rodeos for “entertainment” on July 8, 2013 in an article posted in Psychology Today. Bekoff called for the ban after viewing video posted by SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness depicting 9-year old horse, Duke convulsing in the arena after being electrically shocked out of the bucking chute. Duke subsequently died. The video of Duke’s death has gone viral and has already been viewed more than 100,000 times online.

Bekoff also called out the announcer at the rodeo for his “heartless” and “sickening” commentary telling the audience that horses do suffer injuries and equating them to family members. In the article, Bekoff goes on to say, “We also consider dogs to be family members and no one I know, and I’d like to think no one at all, would ever allow a dog to be treated in such a reprehensible way for ‘entertainment’. And horses do not suffer less than our ‘best friends’.” The full article can be read here:

Marc Bekoff is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has won many awards for his scientific work including the Examplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society and Guggenheim Fellowship. Bekoff co-founded Ethologists for Ethical Treatment of Animals with Jane Goodall and has published 22 books and over 500 essays including The Emotional Lives of Animals, The Ten Trusts (with Jane Goodall), The Animal Manifesto, Animals Matter, The Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships, The Case For Compassionate Conservation, and Jasper’s Story: Saving Moon Bears (with Jill Robinson). 

In response to the outrage over the death of Duke, Grant Harris, owner of the Cowtown rodeo, has claimed that Duke was not electro-shocked. To counter this, SHARK has released a new detailed video of Duke being electro-shocked.

“Harris knows how bad this is and his only recourse has been to try to cover up what happened,” states SHARK investigator Stuart Chaifetz. “This video goes frame by frame to show the brutal and cruel treatment Duke received before he finally died. The reality is that if Duke had not been in the rodeo that night, he would still be alive today.”

The new detailed video can be viewed here:

For more info on rodeo cruelty please visit:

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  1. There is no excuse for the treatment of this horse that this vile person inflicted on him, but banning all rodeo events? Grant Harris, owner of the Cowtown rodeo should pay dearly for this and have HIS rodeo shut down and charged with cruelty. Why should every one else have to pay for his downright cruel treatment, as most all rodeos do not use this practice. This whole deal is outrageous on both accounts.