Rodeo Controversy

NOTE: The WIFR television piece reprinted here is in response to shocking at the World's Toughest Bulls and Broncs event in Peoria, IL, exposed by SHARK and shown in this video.

Jan 18, 2008
by Max Seigle

Rodeo organizers say there won't be any of shocking on horses and bulls entering the MetroCentre arena Friday night. But that hasn't been the case at other shows from the World's Toughest Bulls and Broncs company.

Check out this YouTube video from an Iowa event. It captures animals getting zapped by an electronic devise called a hot-shot. It's powered by two 9 volt batteries. It's illegal in Illinois to use that if the animals won't leave the gates. Metrocentre officials say they're not worried about violations. And a rodeo spokesman says using the devise is not at all like a police officer deploying a taser on a human.

"They are a great group. We've sat down with Winnebago County Animal Services and they've reviewed what they do and talked through the rules," said MetroCentre General Manager Corey Pearson.

"It's a very bad misconception. There's no such thing as tasering of animals at any time and it never has been," said Rodeo Owner David Morehead.

Going back to the legality over the shocking, it is legal in other states when the animals won't leave the gates. And that's why we've seen it happening in places like Iowa. Despite the rodeo owner's comments, this show is eliciting lots of concern from animal rights groups like PETA and SHARK. They maintain the rodeo's history of shocking animals is inhumane and they're considering criminal charges against the company.


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