On October 13, the Los Angeles Board of Animal Services Commissioners submitted a letter to the City Council recommending an outright ban of rodeo events Los Angeles. The events listed in the recommendation are bull riding, bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, and “similar events and activities.” The animal services commissioners are appointed by the City Council, and have virtually no experience with livestock. The recommendation is expected to be put to a vote in coming weeks.

This blatant, ill-informed assault on western traditions and lifestyles came despite over two years of outreach and education by rodeo and livestock industry professionals, who initiated a focused campaign to preserve the sport when the initial proposal to ban certain pieces of equipment used in rodeo surfaced. The pieces of equipment in question were spurs, flank straps, and electric cattle prods.

The rodeo and livestock industry professionals thoroughly demonstrated to the city council that the use of these items is humane and necessary, and that their use is strictly monitored and regulated by existing rules and regulations of various rodeo associations. The newly released recommendation entirely disregards the input of actual livestock and rodeo experts, and instead falls in blind lockstep with the animal extremist agenda.

Head of Los Angeles Animal Services, Staycee Dains, was quoted as saying:

“The best rodeos have a vet on site. To me, that’s an acknowledgment that this process is inherently unsafe for those animals This is not about preserving culture. Hundreds of years ago, animals were rounded up from the plains, so you had to physically tackle animals. That doesn’t exist anymore.”

This demonstrates the extreme disconnect between the majority of consumers and the ways food is produced. For example, much of today’s American beef cattle are raised on ranches that utilize a blend of traditional handling methods—including roping and training horses to move and manage cattle–and modern equipment and technology.

At the forefront of the push to ban rodeo is the Los Angeles-based group, Last Chance for Animals (LCA). This group also champions a number of other animal extremist causes, and opposes zoos, circuses, horse racing, fishing, hunting, and horse-drawn carriages. Their website states: “LCA opposes the use of animals in food and clothing production, scientific experimentation, and entertainment and promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle and the ascription of rights to non-human beings.”

The involvement of such a group powerfully demonstrates that the currently proposed ban on rodeo events is simply a stepping stone to help advance the overall animal extremist agenda, which is to eliminate any form of human/animal interaction.

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