The Cruelty Behind Rodeos!!
Rodeos have been receiving some unwanted attention recently by numerous welfare groups including Animals Australia. So I thought I would post some information on the ‘sport’ and would love to hear everyone’s opinions on whether it should be banned nationally?
Rodeos are currently banned in Britain and in parts of Europe, the United States and Australia due to the pain and distress they cause to the competing animals.
A variety of competitive ‘sports’ are involved in a rodeo including bull and horse riding, calf/steer roping and steer wrestling. All of which can cause serious injury to the animal.
Many people in favour of rodeos claim that if the animal doesn’t want to buck then why would they do it? However, for cattle, and horses to a lesser extent, to perform they are often ‘encouraged’ with an electric prod, to which they are extremely sensitive to. Flank straps are also used to assist with the bucking. They are generally tightened before the animal and rider enter the ring, and to be honest, generally don’t cause extreme discomfort or harm to the animal. Many are actually lined to prevent any sort of injury, but they will cause the animal to buck unnaturally. If over-tightened to increase the animal’s performance, however, they can cause harm. Spurs are also often used on horses to initiate bucking, which if used incorrectly can cause great injury to the animal. Even the most docile horse will buck if spurred incorrectly. Numerous injuries are obtained from the bucking motion.
‘A day at the Mareeba rodeo’ licensed under Creative Commons
Roping causes injury due to the force of lassoing and jerking the animal to a halt. It is then thrown and wrestled to the ground which can lead to tearing or stretching of ligaments, internal haemorrhaging to the thymus gland and trachea, disc rupture, broken legs and the list goes on.
The sport of steer roping, licensed under Wikimedia Commons
Steer wrestling involves the contestant jumping off the horse to grab the steer by the horns and twisting its neck in an attempt to wrestle it to the ground. The animal can receive splintered horns broken limbs and in some cases spinal injury.
Dr. C. G. Haber, a veterinarian with 30 years experience assessing meat for the United States Department of Agriculture states ‘when rodeo animals are sent to the packing houses I have seen cattle so extensively bruised that the only areas in which the skin was attached was the head, neck, legs and belly. I have seen animals with six to eight ribs broken from the spine that at times puncture the lungs. I have seen as much as two to three gallons of free blood accumulated under detached skin.’
Now I’m not saying all rodeos are like this and every animal receives serious injury, however injuries are often and can’t be prevented even in the most organised and welfare aware rodeo.