Commuters and potential rodeo fans in the San Francisco Bay Area are being greeted today by the message “Calf-Roping Kills,” alongside the face of a helpless victim of rodeo’s notorious calf-roping contest. California-based nonprofit In Defense of Animals has placed the “Calf-Roping Kills” billboard on Highway 580, one of the busiest routes in the Bay Area to run during Castro Valley’s Rowell Ranch Rodeo in May.
The billboard is at 8555 Dublin Canyon Road in Castro Valley, less than a mile from Rowell Ranch Rodeo. It will remain up for one month.
For the baby cow victims of calf-roping, suffering, injury, and death are the norm, rather than the exception. Dr. Peggy Larson, a former bareback bronco rider and large animal veterinarian, compares calf-roping to “a 220 to 280 pound man hanging himself.”
In the notorious calf-roping event, cowboys demonstrate their “skill” by abusing four to five-month-old baby calves, cruelly torn away from their mothers. The terrified calves burst out of the gate at speeds approaching 30 miles per hour to escape electric shocks and handlers who twist and yank their tails. Cowboys then lasso the calves around the neck, snapping their heads back as they come to an abrupt halt. The calves’ bodies are slammed to the ground, the wind knocked out of them, and their legs tied together. Calves may scream (if they can breathe), and defecate from the terror. Many suffer serious neck and back injuries, such as torn ligaments, broken bones, and even severed spinal cords and tracheas, while others die from internal hemorrhaging.
“Rodeo truly is the cruelest show on dirt,” says Marilyn Kroplick M.D., President of In Defense of Animals. “Our billboard is so close to the rodeo, you can almost hear the screams. We want people to know that baby cows are forced to suffer horribly in California for the amusement of a few, until they’re too injured or used-up to perform, and their short, miserable lives end in the slaughterhouse. It’s time to ban rodeo.”
Learn more and take action to end calf-roping cruelty at http://idausa.org/banrodeo.
Featured image: calf-roping routinely harms and even kills calves. Image credit Susan Williams, CC BY-SA 3.0.