Video footage showing horses being shocked in chutes and calves being abused in a roping contest at the Reno Rodeo in June, in violation of rodeo policies, was just released by Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK).
“Literally, these animals have to be tortured to get them to perform, and that is animal cruelty pure and simple,” said SHARK spokesman Stuart Chaifetz.
SHARK released similar footage last year from the Reno Rodeo, after which cameras were installed by the rodeo officials to monitor activities.
Rodeo spokesman Steve Schroeder acknowledged that the horses were being shocked after seeing the footage and also admitted that cowboys, being the geniuses that they are, found a way to mess with the cameras that were installed and worked “really hard to stay out of camera view.”
According to Schroeder, the Reno Rodeo frowns upon shocking, even though the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) officially allows shocks, or ‘hot shots’ to be used. The identity of the person doing the shocking hasn’t been released, but Schroeder told the Rapid City Journal that the individual and the company he contracted for, Big Bend/Flying Five Rodeo Co., would likely be facing fines and that the individual in question would not be allowed to return.
Unfortunately for the animals involved, the latest video release just proves that problems with abuse and disregard for the rules are ongoing and part of a larger problem in rodeos.
“The whole damn thing is rotten,” SHARK’s Steve Hindi told the LA Times. “Some horses were double shocked. They have tried to scapegoat one person in an effort to make the problem go away. They said he wonít be allowed back at the rodeo. But we know thatís bull. There are four guys doing this.”
“Itís not going on in a vacuum. The riders know, the judges know, the announcers know. Itís a systematic problem.”
Judging by the video, the cowboys doing the shocking weren’t exactly even close to being subtle about it.
Footage of calf-roping was also obtained that showed two calves being injured in ‘jerk downs,’ where they’re chased at full speed, roped and flipped over backwards, an activity that is illegal by PRCA standards. One calf injured its leg, while another broke its neck but continued to endure having its legs tied.
SHARK plans on holding a press conference in Reno on Friday to show more footage from the event.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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