By Gary Bogue
Monday, August 3rd, 2009 at 9:17 am in Rodeo animals.
I received the following letter dated June 30 from Eric Mills,coordinator for Action For Animals in Oakland:
July was a worse month than usual for rodeo animals. Three horses and a steer were killed at the Canadian Calgary Stampede (for a total of 35 since 1986, mostly in the chaotic chuck wagon races). Another three animals died at Cheyenne Frontier Days (plus a half-dozen other injuries). Closer to home, I just learned that three roping calves suffered broken legs at the Salinas Rodeo last week and had to be euthanized. And babies, yet.
Nor is it only the animals who suffer. A 12-year-old boy was killed in a bull riding accident in a “Little Britches” rodeo in Colorado earlier this month. A clear case of child endangerment, in my opinion. Minors should not be allowed to participate in this potentially lethal event. Perhaps some legislation is in order.
California state rodeo law (Penal Code 596.7) requires that the attending veterinarian must submit a written report of all animal injuries to the Veterinary Medical Board within 48 hours of the end of the rodeo. I called the Vet Board this week, and was told that ZERO reports had been received. NOT POSSIBLE! Rodeo injuries and deaths are commonplace. With some 250 rodeos held in California every year, the Board should have received 30-40 reports, minimum.
It’s clear that the “on call” vet option allowed by 596.7 isn’t working. It should be amended to require an ON SITE veterinarian at every rodeo, both professional and amateur. Charreadas, too (the Mexican-style rodeos.)
All legislators may be written c/o The State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814
Eric Mills, coordinator, ACTION FOR ANIMALS, firstname.lastname@example.org