My friend Eric Mills, coordinator for ACTION FOR ANIMALS in Oakland, asked me to pass along the following letter he wrote about some animal welfare concerns he has at CALEXPO which begins on Aug. 15.
Eric is the champion defender of the safety of rodeo animals … and also, whether they believe it or not, of rodeo cowboys.
The California State Fair begins August 15 and runs through September 1. Some animal welfare issues remain unresolved at CALEXPO.
At the 2004 Fair, a rodeo bull suffered a broken back when struck by a mechanical contraption called the “Cowboy Teeter-totter.”
No, the animal was simply trucked off to the Flying U Rodeo’s Marysville ranch, where he was shot to death the next day. Not acceptable! Ever since, animal protectionists have been pressuring CALEXPO to adopt an immediate, on-site euthanasia policy for fatally-injured rodeo animals, as so determined by the attending veterinarian. Seems little to ask.
Reportedly, County and City Animal Control Officers will monitor this year’s rodeo, and they have the authority to confiscate injured animals.
At the 2007 Fair, two Mexican fighting bulls escaped their pen, knocked a heroic security guard into a coma, broke her ribs, trampled a horse, and nearly trampled a bunch of kids.
These animals were to be used in yet another nonsensical event called “Bull Poker,” in which 4 or 5 cowboys sit around a card table, and bear the brunt of the charging bull. Last man sitting wins the jackpot. A man was killed in this event at a Kentucky rodeo recently, and his widow and three orphans are suing the fairgrounds for millions.
Both of these events should be banned outright, of course, for the protection of animals and cowboys alike. Neither is sanctioned by the PRCA.
On August 16 & 17, the fair features two nights of “Bull Fest” (6:45-7:45 p.m.), with six bull rides, plus the inane and dangerous “Cowboy Poker” event.
Please contact CALEXPO to express your concerns.
WRITE OR CALL:
Norbert Bartosik, CEO (firstname.lastname@example.org); Board of Directors, Marko Mlikotin, Chair (email@example.com), tel. 916-263-3000.
Eric Mills, coordinator, ACTION FOR ANIMALS, P.O. Box 20184, Oakland, CA 94620 (510-652-5603)
Please let the CALEXPO folks know how you feel about this. Thanks for caring. /Gary