Sunday, 01 August 2021

Mills: Mutton busting — parents beware!

The rodeo's "mutton busting" event is cruel and dangerous for children and sheep alike.

This nonsensical event was dropped from the rodeo program throughout New Zealand years ago, at the recommendation of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, which deemed the sheep "not built to carry the weight."

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors banned "mutton busting" back in 2019 for these same reasons. Other jurisdictions should follow suit.

There's also a serious health risk. Every rodeo arena is infected with E. coli. Back in 2010 a three-year-old little boy in Texas, one "Bubba" Kirby (see Google), fell off his sheep and got a mouthful of arena dirt. He went into a two-week coma, swelled up twice his normal size, and suffered heart, lung and kidney failure, nearly dying in the process. Parents beware!

Every animal welfare organization in North America condemns rodeo due to its inherent cruelty. Rodeo is mostly macho hype, having nothing to do with life on a working ranch.

The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales), The Netherlands and Germany have all outlawed rodeos. Can the U.S. be far behind?

Lest we forget, this godawful pandemic was HUMAN-caused, a direct result of our gross mistreatment of animals, both wild and domestic.

Boycott all rodeos, their corporate sponsors and advertisers. Follow the money.

Eric Mills is coordinator for Action for Animals, based in Oakland, California.

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