By Gary Bogue
Monday, January 7th, 2008 at 8:35 am in Rodeo animals.
I just got the following letter from Eric Mills, coordinator of Action for Animals in Oakland. Eric is the ultimate fighter for the rights of animals and one of his particular concerns is to make sure rodeo animals get care when they are injured — which happens more frequently than a lot of people care to admit.
If you care about these animals and would like to help, read on:
Gary: I have in hand copies of the 2007 rodeo animal injury reports submitted to the State Veterinary Medical Board, as required by law. Are you ready? A grand total of two! No reports — zero — were submitted in 2006, and only one in 2005.
Rodeo injuries are commonplace. With about 250 rodeos held annually in California, there should be at least several dozen such reports every year. It’s clear that the “on call” veterinarian option allowed by current law isn’t working. Vets are not being summoned, and injured animals are suffering needlessly.
There’s an easy fix: State law should be amended so as to require an on-site veterinarian at every rodeo and charreada (Mexican-style rodeo).
Rodeos already require on-site paramedics and ambulances to care for injured cowboys, and rightly so. Animals deserve equal consideration. There’s good precedent. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) requires on-site vets at all of its rodeos, as do Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, the Hayward Rowell Ranch, the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Solano County Fair, and the California State Fair. So do all horse shows and thoroughbred race tracks.
Ask your state representatives to introduce and/or support the needed humane amendment. All legislators may be written c/o The State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Eric Mills, coordinator, Action for Animals, Oakland, Calif.
Thanks for caring, everyone! And thank YOU, Eric! /gary