Donkey roping is an extremely cruel "sport" where the donkey is shocked with a cattle prod until he tries to run away. Once in motion two people on horseback run the donkey down, one throwing a rope around its neck, the other around its rear legs. Once roped the donkey is then stretched between the two horses. Broken bones and death are all too common during these events.
This petition was created to stop a ‘world championship donkey roping’ event in Van Horn Texas at the Frontiers Days on June 23-24, 2012.
It should be noted that the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association does NOT condone donkey roping. This is not and never has been an officially sanctioned event. It is an event created by some for money making purposes. Donkeys in Texas can be bought for as low as $5.00 whereas cattle/calves are very expensive. Calves are generally used only once or twice so as not to damage them. Donkeys are used over and over compounding the damage done to their bodies and minds.
Donkeys are equine, like horses, their physical makeup – anatomy, is not like a cow. Their joints articulate differently. They have a long cervical spine (neck) easily broken when being roped and stretched between two horses who weigh 3-6 times as much as a donkey. Roping or lassoing is a fine art and has to be performed in a particular manner having parts of the rope land in correct locations ON CATTLE. These specific locations on a cow are different that on a donkey or don’t exist at all.
Death, broken necks, legs and backs are common in donkey roping. Their tracheas (windpipes) are exposed, not buried deeply in the neck structure as are cows, so they are crushed and they suffocate. They can’t eat for days because their throats are swollen. Their legs are delicate and easily broken. Their hides (skins) are not thick like cattle so the ropes cause burns, abrasions, blisters.
For those that survive this physical torture they are guaranteed to suffer from psychological issues. They ‘shut down’ mentally, display severe distrust issues. Their minds and hearts are naturally trusting and they desire to be with humans. The behavior of these men is a betrayal; the donkeys don’t know how to differentiate between these torturers and the loving rescuers/caregivers. It can take years and sometimes never for them to trust another human. They often segregate themselves from other donkeys by hiding in corners of their pastures or stalls, not being able to socialize with their own kind.
These donkey roping events occur all over Texas, not just in Van Horn. They also occur in some other ‘cowboy-minded’ states but not at the same frequency as they do in Texas.
The ultimate goal will be to get legislation passed that makes donkey roping event illegal and then to make certain that law in enforced. There is a Tx Statue 42.09 cruelty to livestock animal that should cover this but the law needs to specific like with ‘horse-tripping’. These events are often help in small communities where the local Sheriff is everybody’s friend, maybe even partakes in the event, and therefore does NOTHING to enforce 42.09.