Rodeos or Similar Events

Rodeos or Similar Events

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) opposes the practice of using animals in rodeos or similar events, such as mounted shooting. Rodeos or similar events may cause torment, harassment, and stress to the participating animals and may expose the animals to pain, injury, or death. ARL does not support the use of painful devices against animals used during these events.

While a form of “sport” for the human participants or “entertainment” for an audience, the events often cause immense suffering for animals.

These events include calf roping, steer busting, bull riding, steer wrestling. Calf roping involves slamming or throwing a calf from the air to the ground at 20-30 miles per hour. Steer busting involves lassoing an animal, twisting his or her head, throwing the animal to the ground, and tethering the legs together. In mounted shooting events, riders of horses may engage in barrel races or other competitions while shooting a gun and riding a horse. The horses’ heads may be tied down or plugs may cover their ears. The guns often leave a toxic residue on the horses while the rider shoots a gun around the horses’ heads and necks. This residue may burn the horses.

Handlers of the animals often use various tools, such as an electric prod known as “hotshot” while the animal is confined. The tools cause pain in the animal and cause the animal to react when released from confinement. Other tools, such as rodeo tack, metal spurs, “bucking straps,” and sharp wires are not humane and are an unnecessary form of torture for the animals. Flank straps and electric prods inflict pain in an effort to make a horse buck.

Rodeos and related events display and encourage insensitivity to the brutal treatment of animals for “sport.”

The Animal Rescue League of Boston will:

  • Support federal, state, and local prohibitions against the use of animals in rodeos or similar events;
  • Support and encourage the education of persons seeking to understand rodeos or similar events;
  • Encourage that animals used in rodeos or similar events be retired to lifelong animal sanctuaries or permanent safe havens;
  • Encourage that people refrain from engaging in or supporting rodeos or similar events; and
  • Support or oppose laws or measures based upon the best interest of the animals used in rodeos or similar events.