Rodeos are events that are inherently cruel to animals. There’s no way around it. There’s no way to make it “humane” for animals. These events torture animals from cows to sheep and horses. Horses, bulls, steer, and calves suffer horrific injuries such as broken ribs, backs, legs, torn tails, punctured lungs, internal organ damage, ripped tendons, and torn ligaments, snapped necks, and agonizing deaths. The Animal Legal Defense Fund explains: “Cruel tools like the “hotshot” are used to make the animals perform. This is an electric prod that scares an animal into displaying abnormally dramatic reactions through intense pain.” And that is exactly what handlers were caught doing at the Rowell Ranch Rodeo.

There is footage (which can be seen on NBC Bay Area) showing handlers hurting the animals to achieve a wild reaction. Part of the entertainment factor is seeing the animals buck wildly and try to toss the rider. In order to get the horses to react, they inflict pain by shocking them with electric prods.

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Founder of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), Steve Hindi has also seen handlers hitting horses in the head, and according to NBC Bay Area: “when the rider’s spurs are not enough to trigger a reaction, a handler reaches down toward the horse’s neck, prompting the horse to react and buck wildly.”

Electrically shocking tame horses while they are in chutes, or cages, is illegal. Therefore, they broke the law to make a cruel event all the more horrible and painful for the animals. Because their actions are illegal, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, which oversees the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Park, fined Flying U Rodeo Company $2,000. But as SHARK and other animal activists say, that is not enough!

These cruel rodeo events need to be banned already! As PETA says, “Countless animals have paid with their lives to satisfy humans’ desire to play cowboy in events such as calf roping, bull riding, steer wrestling, and bronc riding.” You can also speak up against the cruel Rowell Ranch Rodeo by signing this petition!

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