Antis Target Dodge Over Rodeo Support

April 12, 2001

The Livestock Weekly

BERLIN — Radical environmentalists plan to attend a shareholders meeting in Germany this month to try to convince the company to withdraw support for Dodge sponsorship of U.S. rodeos.

American animal activists Steve Hindi and Donna Hertel, along with animal welfare advocates from Europe, say they will attend the April 11 shareholders meeting of DaimlerChrysler Motors Corporation in Berlin.

They say they will try to persuade the maker of Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep-Eagle and Mercedes Benz automobiles to get out of rodeos.

If DaimlerChrysler refuses, it will never again be able to claim ignorance regarding the cruelty of rodeos, Hindi contends.

Hindi and Hertel plan to show the shareholders still pictures and video footage of rodeo animal abuse. Many of the scenes prominently display Dodge advertisements in rodeo arenas.

According to rodeo sources, Dodge gives the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association more than $6.6 million annually. Dodge also sponsors other rodeo organizations. Animal rights groups estimate Dodge's sponsorships at over $10 million per year.

Activists say they are targeting U.S. rodeos and Spanish bullfighting.