Protect animals & children at the annual Rowell Ranch Rodeo in Castro Valley!
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The annual Rowell Ranch Rodeo once boasted a quite progressive animal welfare policy, but has degenerated in recent years. The 2017 Rowell Ranch Rodeo Committee (Russ Fields, pres.) plans to feature two particularly abusive non-sanctioned events: "Wild Cow Milking" (depicted above), and children's (ages 4-7) "Mutton Busting," dangerous for kids and sheep alike. They need to go. (If in doubt, see the many YouTube videos.)
In the "Wild Cow Milking" contest, two cowboys rope and manhandle a stressed-out cow into a standstill, attempt to milk a few drops into a bottle, then race to the finish line. A cow was killed at the 2014 rodeo, leaving an orphaned calf. Dangerous for all concerned.
In the "Mutton Busting" event, vulnerable young children (often in tears) are placed on the backs of sheep, then released. The event ends only when the kid falls or is knocked off. There are documented cases of comas, broken arms, knocked-out teeth, and bloody noses. The sheep are terrified, of course, and sometimes suffer injuries as well. Promoters and parents alike should be cited for child endangerment. This event is banned in New Zealand, on the recommendation of the NZ Veterinary Association. Hayward Area Recreation & Park District and the U.S. should do likewise.
From 1987-2008, the rodeo policy banned the use of electric prods on animals in the holding chutes. That ban should be re-instated. (NOTE: The prods are designed for use on cattle and swine only, NEVER on horses.)
These nonsensical events send a terrible message to impressionable young children about the proper treatment of animals. It's only a matter of time before a child is seriously injured or killed.
Please contact Hayward Area Recreation & Park District's General Manager, Paul McCreary, and the Board of Directors (Louis Andrade, Pres,; Minane Jameson; Paul Hodges; Carol Pereira; Rick Hatcher), c/o HARD, 1099 "E" Street, Hayward, CA 94541; tel. 510/881-6700. EMAIL FOR ALL: email@example.com.
(1) ban "wild cow milking";
(2) ban "mutton busting";
(3) reinstate the ban on electric prods; and
(4) in the Jr. Rodeo's "goat tying" event (held in August), no single goat should be thrown and tied more than twice per day (preferably only once, if at all).
Hayward Area Recreation & Park District has received more than 300 letters in support of these modest and humane requests: Eastbay SPCA, Hayward Friends of Animals, Ohlone Humane Society (Fremont), Marin Humane Society, Humane Society of Silicon Valley, Action for Animals, In Defense of Animals, Humane Farming Association, Animal Legal Defense Fund, a half-dozen veterinarians and RVTs, a Presbyterian minister, and hundreds of letters from concerned citizens. A "no-brainer," yes?
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