Letter to the Editor: Rodeo injuries


I just received from the State Veterinary Medical Board copies of the
rodeo injury reports from June-December 2019:  a grand total of TWO. Statistically not possible!

California annually hosts some 250 rodeos, plus 800 charreadas
(Mexican-style rodeos), and animal injuries are routine. One could
reasonably expect 50-60 such reports every year, minimum.  Since the law’s
inception in 2000 (Penal Code 596.7), there have been fewer than 75
reports submitted to the Vet Board, as required.  And only ONE of those
came from a charreada.

It seems clear that the “on-call” vet option allowed by current law is not
working, and animals are suffering accordingly.  The law should be
amended to drop the “on call” option, and require an on-site veterinarian
at every California rodeo and charreada.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) began requiring on-site
vets only in 1995, after five animals were killed at the California Rodeo
in Salinas that year. On-site vets are required at race tracks, horse
shows and endurance rides.  Why not rodeos, pray?  The rule should be, “No
Vet, No Rodeo.”

Please contact your state legislators and demand this minimal protection for these exploited and abused animals.

Eric Mills
Action for Animals,

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