Rodeo is a sport with long American traditions and loved by many spectators and participants. Past history has shown that rodeo needed to make way for a new era of riders and trainers with a larger emphasis on the welfare of the animals and not be discontinued or banned entirely. Today’s rodeos do not present a danger to the animals because the animals are well-cared for and protected, rodeos have strict rules and the stock are treated as prized animals.
There is a very important distinction when dealing with animal welfare and animal rights. After learning to tell the difference between the two, it is easier to distinguish the organization that wants to help animals and the people who wish to end the use of animals. Even though there are different groups that support different agendas for the sport, both should have the same goal. Animal rights are organizations that seek to end the ownership and use of animals. The largest of those groups are The Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. There is a ‘Pro-Rodeo’ organization under the guise ‘Friends of Rodeo.’ They claim to be the only organization solely devoted to protecting and promoting the sport of rodeo, all of rodeo regardless of association affiliation. “What rodeo proponents fail to acknowledge is that rodeos harm animals that are forced to perform in a competition that is essentially a display of human domination over other species” (The Rodeo 1).
Animal welfare is based on the humane care and use of the animals. Organizations that support animal welfare seek to improve the treatment of animals. The first rule on humane care was established by the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association in 1947. Seven years before the Humane Society was established. The animals work less than five minutes each year in the arena (Animal Rights 1).
The PRCA has around eleven thousand members that have more than a tie to animals. Almost all have lived and worked around animals for most of their lives (Livestock 1). Some people say “The modern sport of rodeo has strayed far from its origins…today’s cowboys are far removed from any purpose by deliberately hurting animals for prize money and to prove that they are tough enough to brake a wild animal” (Rodeo facts 1). But like most people, cowboys believe animals need to be treated with respect. The Pro Rodeo Association values their animals. The rules they have are designed to help prevent cruelty or mistreatment (Livestock 1). Some people use equine chiropractors, dentists, and acupuncturists to make the animals feel as good as we want to feel. For a lot of animals rodeo is a way of survival. Most would be in the slaughterhouse or destroyed if not for rodeo. The PRCA’s rules are there to make sure the animals are properly cared for and taken care of if an accident should happen.
Anti-rodeo organizations argue that calf roping, bull ridding, and bronco ridding cause death or injury to many of the animals. They say it is common for animals...