Dave Brown is an Illinois representative of Friends of Rodeo, a rodeo apologist/propaganda organization. Brown has never, and will never debate SHARK president Steve Hindi, even though both live in Illinois. That is because Hindi's mission is to video document and expose rodeo abuses. Mr. Brown mission is to protect rodeos, even if it means not telling the truth.
On October 30, 2003 Dave Brown gave false testimony before the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Advisory Board of Livestock Commissioners. During his testimony Mr. Brown stated the following:
"I'd like to read you some numbers from the latest injury survey with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association done it conjunction with the American Veterinary Medical Association."
Mr. Brown then went on to give numbers indicating that rodeo animals are almost never hurt in rodeos. The only problem is, there is no rodeo injury survey done by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) in conjunction with American American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Mr. Brown's statement is a fabrication.
SHARK obtained an official transcript of the hearing, including Brown's statement, and sent it to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for comment. Dr. Gail Golab, AVMA Assistant Director, Professional and Public Affairs, sent a letter to Friends of Rodeo pointing out Mr. Brown's inaccuracies, and asked that FOR issue appropriate corrections. Click here to see the AVMA letter to Friends of Rodeo. To our knowledge, Friends of Rodeo has made absolutely no effort to correct Mr. Brown's error.
The only PRCA "rodeo survey" SHARK is aware of grabs statistics out of the air. The PRCA refuses SHARK's repeated requests for hard data to support the "survey" because there is no hard data. As in the case of its "humane rules," the PRCA's "injury survey" exists for public relations purposes only, and the AVMA wants nothing to do with it.
SHARK also sent a copy of the AVMA letter to Friends of Rodeo president Linda Burdick. As expected, Ms. Burdick has not responded.
Read the letter from SHARK investigator, Pat Vinet, to Illinois Friends of Rodeo (FOR) representative, Dave Brown. Like his boss, Linda Burdick, Mr. Brown has not responded. Why won't "Cowboy Dave" be a man and "Cowboy Up?"
June 21, 2004
Dear Mr. Brown:
I am writing to ask if you are aware that Michael Latting and Juaquin Santos pleaded guilty to animal abuse charges stemming from the Morris Rodeo held on 27 September of last year. More importantly, I would like to know if you plan to report this news in the column you write for Friends of Rodeo. In view of the fact that this is the first–ever conviction of its kind in your state, it’s certainly newsworthy.
In a local newspaper article (Suburban Chicago News/”Morris Rodeo Participants Criticized/10/4/2003) Latting is quoted as saying, “I don’t believe in it [hot prodding animals]. …While I’m there, everybody knows not to mess with my animals. I take care of my animals.” This is very commendable of Mr. Latting, but in the same article he says that bulls today have been bred to be docile. “You can’t make an animal buck if you don’t do something to it,” he said.
Perhaps you can answer this question for Mr. Latting: Which is it? Does he or does he not have ethical reservations about hot prodding his animals? Is he indeed opposed to shocking animals and forbids his employees to do it, as he emphatically claims in the first breath? Or does he have no ethical qualms with doing “something to it” as he states in the next?
What intrigues me especially about this case is a statement you made on this very subject in an issue of Friends of Rodeo about a year ago. You said, “Congratulations to John Growney on his win in court against the animal rights people in California. As long as we stick to what we know is right, we should always win these things.” I’m not sure what you are referring to with regard to knowing what’s right, Mr. Brown.
It’s doubtful Michael Latting has any more idea of what’s right than you do. Clearly the law disallows cruelty to animals because it is not right, yet rodeo folks, the self-proclaimed defenders of traditional American values, get caught at it all of the time.
Lies to cover up may vary. When Dave Misner of California recently got caught breaking the law, he said that the prod used to make bulls wild with pain had no batteries in it. When Cotton Rosser gets caught breaking the law, he claims that the electrical device, which is expressly forbidden in the state of California, is disabled and just makes a rattling noise. This is especially interesting considering the animals were zapped on their rumps on the occasion in question. And your friend John Growney who you congratulated for beating the rap, claimed under oath in a court of law that animals who never stalled might have stalled, so breaking the law was okay. I have to add here that Growney’s interpretation of the law he broke deserves credit for creativity!
All kidding aside, Mr. Brown, abusing animals is not right. Breaking the law is not right. Lying about it when you get caught is not right either. I welcome a written clarification from you regarding your statement above about what you know is right.
There is just one final thing I would like to mention. In that same Friends of Rodeo column quoted above, you refer to the protesters at the Wauconda Rodeo as “terrorists.” You label these people “terrorists” because they stand outside rodeos holding signs? Come on, Mr. Brown! A big tough cowboy like you shouldn’t be afraid of a few people holding signs, for crying out loud!
Pat Vinet SHARK