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Rodeo - to take pleasure in torturing animals


Why are we against rodeo?
Animals don't exist for our entertainment. Rodeo takes away their dignity. They suffer from injury, pain, stress and fear. Frequent transporting makes for additional stress. Children learn from rodeo, that the one, who is the cruelest towards the animals, is rewarded with a prize.

Where do rodeos take place?
Rodeos are carried out in the USA, Canada, Latin America (foremost Brazil), Australia and New Zealand, Asia (Philippines) and Europe (Portugal, Germany, Poland, Tcheck Republic, France and Italy). Rodeo in Germany takes places in German-American Festivities and so-called Western Towns and on private property.

Which species are used in rodeo?
Cattle and Horses are used in European rodeo. In the USA pigs and sheep are also used.

What happens in a rodeo?
There are several disciplines in rodeo:

  • Bare back riding - horses are ridden without a saddle, the rider has to stay on for 8 seconds), Saddled bronc riding (horses are ridden with a saddle, the rider has to stay on for 8 seconds
  • Horse tripping - a Mexican specialty, horses are thrown to the ground
  • Bull riding - bulls are ridden for 8 seconds
  • Wild horse race - a team of three men tries to break a horse, one has to be on the horse in the end
  • Steer wrestling - a steer is wrestled to the ground
  • Calf roping - a calf is roped from horseback and thrown to the ground,
  • Break-away roping - a calf is roped from horseback, the rope falls from the saddle
  • Team roping - a calf is roped by two riders and thrown to the ground
  • Steer tripping - larger calves are thrown to the ground and dragged through the sand
  • Ribbon roping - a young bull is caught with a rope, a prior attached ribbon has to be taken off his horns
  • Barrel racing - horses race around barrels at high speed
  • Pole bending - horses race around poles at high speed
  • Mutton bustin - sheep are ridden by young children
  • Wild Cow Milking - Teams of men chase a herd of non-dairy cows around the arena, forcibly hold and try to milk them
  • Wild boar chasing - pigs or piglets are greased and chased through the ring by children. (The "Wild boar chase" and "Wild Cow Milking" have been banned regionally in Germany in the year 2004. A nationwide ban is expected soon.)

Why do the animals buck?electric prod
The flank strank makes them buck. This is a strap around the lower abdomen that is pulled tight when the horse or bull leaves the chute. In general this is a very sensitive area on a horse's body. In the case of the bulls it puts pressure on the uretha. As soon as the flank strap is taken off, the animals stop bucking. Spurs are used as an additional means to inflict suffering on the animals. The use of electro shocking devices is forbidden in Germany, but quite common around the world.

How frequently do the animals participate in rodeos?
The same animals are used again and again in rodeos, having to perfom several times in one event. Afterwards they are loaded up and transported to the next event.

Does rodeo pose a threat to the animals' health?
Most certainly. Broken bones, contusions, concussions, skin-abrasions and internal bleeding can occur. Some disciplines can result in broken necks and spines. Sometimes the injuries result in an animal's death.

Is there a risk of injury for people too?
Yes. But in contrast to the animals people participate voluntarily in rodeos.

Why is there rodeo in Europe? Why is it legal in Germany?
Rodeo is a legacy of the US-Army. At first it was only carried out in or around US-Army barracks in Germany. It is still legal in Germany, because the term "rodeo" is not clearly defined in the animal protection law. The individual veterinary officer has to make a decision whether to allow a rodeo in his area. However, in June 2006 the Federal States of Germany agreed to ban bull riding, wild horse race, the flank strap and the spurs in saddle bronc riding and bareback riding due to a veterinary report by the Veterinary Association for the Protection of Animals (Tierärztliche Vereinigung für Tierschutz e.V.) Read the report here.

According to the Federal German Ministry of Agriculture the German animal protection law also applies to US-Army barracks. This means a German veterinary officer must have access to check out the animals and supervise the rodeo events. The stock contractor must inform and register with the German veterinary office in the area beforehand.

What can you do?

  • Don't go to rodeo-events.
  • Don't support rodeo by your entrance fee.
  • Ask your friends and family to stay away from rodeo too.
  • Inform us, if you know about a rodeo with animals that happens in your area of Europe.
  • Protest to your local and national governments.
  • Write letters to the editor, when you find an article that advertises rodeo.
  • Please inform us, if you come across a travel agent who advertises trips to a rodeo.

Rodeo horse killed after being shocked at the Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove, NJ on June 29, 2013. Watch and listen to the patronizing comments of the rodeo announcer and watch what triggered the poor horse's death.

Click here for rodeo impressions (video) - Beware! Extreme cruelty

This is an action alert from Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE), founder member of the European Anti-Rodeo Coalition:

Wills and Kate don't go on a rodeo dateTell the Royal couple your views on rodeo.

Prince William (Wills) and his wife Catherine (Kate), Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will attend the cruel Calgary rodeo at the beginning of July 2011. FAACE written to them and sent them a DVD with graphic footage made by SHARK. You may already have seen it, if not, you can
find it here. There is also a blog spot for this campaign.

Please write to him and his wife and ask him not to go to the rodeo by using this contact form. You can paste this sample into the form or write your own letter:


FOA Royal Highnesses Prince William and Catherine.

I am horrified that you will be attending a rodeo during your Canada trip. You must be aware of the cruelty that takes place in rodeos. It will reflect badly on the British monarchy.

Yours sincerely,

International Campaigns against rodeos Copenhagen (June 2007) and in the Mallorca bullring (September 2006): successfull conclusion!

Due to protests the rodeos were called off! A victory for the rodeo animals.

Read an article about cruel German Rodeos published in "The People" (31st July 2005)


© European Anti-Rodeo-Coalition (EARC)

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