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Behind the Scenes: Animal Care at The Reno Rodeo (Subscriber Content)

By Ty O'Neil

I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Kristi Stone, a veterinarian with Comstock Equine, about her role as well as the role of animal welfare at the Reno Rodeo.

Two veterinarians are on premises during rodeo events assuring that any injured animal is quickly treated.

Stone has been working at Reno Rodeo since 2015. Sh…

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Jennofur OConnor July 2, 2019 - 1:14 am

Hmmm. An apologist for the rodeo says “all is well.” Count me unimpressed. Tormenting animals for “fun” should be condemned by anyone with a conscience.

Peggy W Larson, DVM MS JD July 1, 2019 - 12:40 pm

I am a veterinarian who treated rodeo animals and I also rode bareback broncs in the rodeo. It is great that veterinarians are on the premises during the rodeo. However, rodeo itself causes animals to be needlessly injured and some die. The injuries to the calves’ necks is hidden by the hair. Dr. Bay from Colorado autopsied calves and found damage to the trachea and thyroid glands. He also found torn muscles and ligaments and hemorrhage. These injuries never get a chance to heal because the calf is roped more than once.

Meat inspectors Charles Haber and Robert Fetzner found multiple damages in rodeo steers at slaughter plants near Cheyenne, Wyoming. These injuries included broken bones, torn muscles, damaged ligamentum nuchae in the neck, damaged internal organs and blood in the peritoneal cavity. These animals obviously were in extreme pain before they were killed.

Jake O'Rourke July 1, 2019 - 6:54 pm

There is a direct link between animal cruelty and human violence. Children who see calves’s necks snapped at the end of a rope, watch them be slammed to the ground, drug by the neck, and hear them “bawling” know full well this is not right. Yet the announcer and the crowd cheer. Just imagine what we are teaching children, that is, if we’re not traumatizing them. Rodeo needs to be banned–forever.

Eric Mills, coordinator, ACTION FOR ANIMALS, Oakland July 2, 2019 - 11:22 am

Mr. O’Rourke is right. Worth noting that the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) outlawed rodeos back in 1934. Others should follow suit. Legislation is in order every year, in every state.

Eric Mills, coordinator, ACTION FOR ANIMALS, Oakland June 30, 2019 - 11:35 pm

The PRCA began requiring on-site veterinarians at all their sanctioned events only in 1995 after FIVE animals were killed at the California Rodeo in Salinas that year. Of the estimated 5,000 rodeos held in the U.S. annually, the great majority don’t even provide this basic care, to their ever-lasting shame. Vets are required at race tracks, horse shows and endurance rides. Why not rodeos, pray? The rule should be NO VET, NO RODEO.

As for the misuse of electric prods (aka “hotshots”), Cotton Rosser’s Flying U Rodeo Co. has a long history of violations at the Rowell Ranch Rodeo in Castro Valley, CA, including this year. Be aware that, according to the prod manufacturers themselves, these devices were designed for use on swine and cattle only, NEVER on horses.

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