In a critical development for animal welfare, the Los Angeles City Council is proposing a new ordinance that would issue an outright ban on cruel rodeos.
Otherwise gentle animals exploited in rodeos typically have to be harassed and prodded to perform the unnatural stunts featured in rodeos and often suffer from gruesome injuries, including broken ribs, punctured lungs, and snapped necks as well as devastatingly painful deaths. The momentum for the ban has been building for three years, with the council formerly considering a proposed bill that would prohibit cruel tools of rodeos, like electric prods or shocking devices.
But now, the council is shifting instead toward a prohibition on all rodeos, upon the advice of Councilman Bob Blumenfield, the Los Angeles Animal Services General Manager, and the city’s Equine Advisory Committee.
“Animals suffer significant injuries during common rodeo events such as bull and bronco riding, steer wrestling, and calf roping,” the City Council said. “Many animals are put down as a result of injuries sustained during these events.”
It’s time for the city to act in the interest of animal welfare, said John Popochi, deputy chief of staff for Blumenfield.
“This will be another sign of the city’s care for animals (and) preventing unnecessary violence toward sentient creatures who don’t have a choice in the matter,” he told MyNewsLA.
The Los Angeles Board of Animal Services Commissioners also voted unanimously in favor of an outright ban on rodeos within city limits, citing concerns that rodeo events are inherently cruel to animals and that even authorities that regulate rodeos acknowledged animals are preventably harmed.
“The best rodeos will have a vet on site,” said LA Animal Services General Manager Staycee Dains. “To me, that’s an acknowledgment that this process is inherently unsafe for these animals.”
The Board also told the council to move forward as quickly as possible with the new proposal, the language of which is still being finalized.
A growing number of U.S. cities — including Irvine, Laguna Woods, and Chino Hills in California and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — already have banned cruel rodeos, and it makes sense for Los Angeles to do the same.
We applaud the council for this compassionate shift, and we will keep watching this legislation. If you haven’t already, please sign our petition to end cruel rodeos in Los Angeles!