Rodeo is not wholesome family entertainment, but flagrant animal abuse. ("Bull survives injury during Payson rodeo," Aug. 26 Roundup). The events are nothing more than violent displays of human domination over animals, thinly disguised as entertainment.
As witnessed during the Aug. 21 event during which a bucking bull broke a leg, having a veterinarian onsite cannot prevent injuries and sometimes even fatalities from taking place.
According to veterinarian and former rodeo rider Peggy Larson, horses and bulls used during rodeo events buck violently and beyond their normal ability because of the straps and ropes cinched around their abdomen. The straps create severe agitation, which paired with spurring, causes the animals to buck wildly, often resulting in serious injuries and fatalities.
Forcing animals to buck through the use of a rope cinched around their abdomen, shoving electric prods into them, twisting their necks, yanking them by their necks or legs, slamming them to the ground is needlessly cruel and should be illegal, not promoted as "entertainment." The cowboys voluntarily risk injury by participating in the events; the animals have no such choice. Please don't support rodeos.
Kristie Phelps, Program Coordinator, In Defense of Animals, Mill Valley, Calif.