August 16, 2016
SHARK asked the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to investigate the shocking mishandling of two investigations involving flagrant misreporting of animal injuries and animal abuse at the California Rodeo Salinas (CRS). In an email dated August 5, 2016, DCA has confirmed that they are looking into our complaint.
On July 28, 2016, SHARK sent a letter to Awe Kidane, Director of DCA (the parent agency of the California Veterinary Medical Board (CVMB)) that outlined the serious problems with the CVMB’s supposed investigation of two complaints filed against the CRS for underreporting the number of animals injured during the rodeo as required by state law. You can read the entire letter HERE.
A steer injured at the CRS
SHARK sued the rodeo, and in discovery uncovered an email chain between CSR and Robert Fox, a lobbyist working for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (a rodeo industry group that was working closely with CRS fighting the complaints). Mr. Fox wrote the following in an email dated September 23, 2014, titled “Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners":
That a state investigator was very 'cooperative' with a lobbyist and gave him a "comfortable feeling" is simply an outrage. This is akin to a lobbyist working with a police officer to dismiss a drunk driving claim against a client. It is highly inappropriate and we believe unethical.
Animals are treated as disposable objects at the viciously cruel Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. Local media refuses to cover these displays of animal abuse due to the money that comes in. Journalistic integrity is just one of the attributes that are extinct in Cheyenne, along with integrity, dignity, honor and compassion.
An injured calf at the CFD rodeo