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30 December 2001 Issue
Rodeo Abuse

by JJswans@aol.com 

One of the more important issues involving animals recently is the impending chance that rodeo will become an event in the Olympics. Inclusion of rodeo and it's inherent abuse would not only showcase America's cruelty to animals to the world, but would also open the door to emulation of that cruelty. Do we really want to encourage other country's Olympic hopefuls to begin their own rodeo competitions in their own countries? This is why it's so important to stand up against rodeo in the Olympics now, and stop it before it starts. Once it's in the Olympics, there is little doubt that it will be next to impossible to remove.

There are various groups working hard to keep this from happening, prominent among them is Steve Hindi's SHARK. SHARK and it's Tiger Truck have been in the forefront, informing the public, and have earned a fair amount of press coverage, but this week there was a wonderful opportunity to bring the truth to the public and CBS decided instead to give us what could at best be called a fluff piece, and did little more than glorify rodeo, ignoring the cruelty involved. There was even a segment showing a calf being roped, but it was creatively edited so that the audience didn't see the calf being whiplashed around at the end of the rope, nor did it show the "cowboy" slamming the calf to the ground. Not because it didn't happen, but because it was conveniently out of sight of the camera.

It is still of primary importance to keep pressure on the Olympic committee to remove all chances of the rodeo being in the Olympics, and you can do this by writing to:

Salt Lake Organizing Committee
Mitt Romney, President
299 S. Main St., Ste. 1300
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phone : 801-212-2002
Fax: 801-364-7644
E-Mail: media.relations@saltlake2002.com 

United States Olympic Committee
Ms. Sandra Baldwin, President
Mr. Scott Blackmun, Acting Secretary General
One Olympic Plz.
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Tel.: 719-578 4529
Fax: 602-840-4438
E-Mail: usoc@sandrabaldwin.com 

Canadian Olympic Association
Mr. Michael A. Chambers, President
Mr. Lou Ragagnin, General Secretary
Olympic House
av. Pierre Dupuy 2380
Montréal, Québec H3C 3R4
Tel.: 514-861-3371
Fax: 514-861-2896
E-Mail: webmaster@coa.ca 

Deanna Slapack
Assistant to Executive Director, Business Operations
Canadian Olympic Association
Tel.: 416-324-4134
Fax: 416-967-4902
E-Mail: dslapack@coa.ca

International Organizing Committee
Jacques Rogge, President
Château de Vidy
Case Postale 356
1007 Lausanne
Switzerland

But it is also important to let the producers of CBS's "48 Hours" know that their piece on rodeos was entirely unacceptable. SHARK's Steve Hindi suggested the following:

"Friends,

You can post your thoughts on the outrageous 48 Hours rodeo promo on their
website at <http://bbs.cbsnews.com/48hours>. There is a slight hassle
getting registered, but then you can let them have it for everyone to see.

Here is what I posted (you don't have to be so longwinded):

I am a rodeo investigator with over eight years of experience. My
organization (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) and I regularly expose
rodeo animal abuse across the United States to local, national and
international media, and to legislators, county boards, city councils and
potential corporate sponsors.

Some months back, I was interviewed by 48 Hours regarding the rodeo issue.
My organization had heard about the impending rodeo story, and called to
argue that there should be balance. We had to push 48 Hours to cover the
other side of the rodeo issue, as this so-called "news program" made no
effort to conduct itself according to legitimate journalistic standards. It
was only under pressure that 48 Hours came to my home to talk about rodeos.

In advance of the interview, I supplied 48 Hours with very extensive video
documentation from eight years of rodeo investigations, along with still
pictures and other evidence. This documentation constitutes irrefutable
proof that rodeos are not only cruel, but that animals are regularly injured
and killed. At no time did 48 Hours challenge or contradict this
documentation in any way.

Furthermore, I provided 48 Hours with evidence that the Professional Rodeo
Cowboys Association (PRCA) and other rodeo associations do NOT enforce
so-called humane rules. On the contrary, I named a long list of PRCA stock
contractors who violate the PRCA's rules with impunity year after year.

When the 48 Hours crew was at my home, I appealed to them to go to rodeos
undercover to see what really goes on. I did not ask 48 Hours to believe
what I said, but rather what was documented, and to further obtain their own
documentation. The producer outright refused.

Obviously, the rodeo story did NOT show any of the extensive video
documentation of rodeo animal abuse, nor any other evidence we made
available. 48 Hours did NOT obtain it's own evidence.

Additionally, at least one large animal veterinarian with experience treating
injured rodeo animals contacted 48 Hours in advance of the story. Clearly
her evidence, based on decades of experience, was completely ignored.

Untalented or undedicated journalists sometimes produce coverage that is
nothing more than a "he said, she said" story. That's bad journalism.
Incredibly, 48 Hours did not even aspire to this substandard. This was a
case of a predetermined story line, damn the facts, and the most blatant
disregard for truth I have, or hopefully ever will witness.

I now call upon CBS News to either refute the extraordinary amount and
quality of evidence of rodeo animal abuse, or to issue a retraction and
public apology, and fire all staff involved in the creation of this
abomination masquerading as journalism, from Dan Rather on down.

This is not a question of differing philosophies or ethics. This is a case
of CBS News, while publicly claiming to be at the pinnacle of journalism,
sinking to a depth that boggles the imagination. To call this story corrupt
is an understatement. This was nothing more than a shameless promo piece for
animal abuse.

The entire CBS News organization should be utterly ashamed.

For more information on rodeo cruelty NOT covered by 48 Hours, go to
<www.sharkonline.org> ."

SHARK will soon be going on tour with the Tiger Truck, right along with the relay of the Olympic Torch, in order to educate the public on this important issue. Help support their efforts by giving them a welcome at one of the stops they make near you. The schedule is below:

Expected Tiger schedule as it tracks the Olympic Torch relay

1/4/02
Lunch: South Bend, Ind., Convention Center
Dinner: Chicago, Ill., Navy Pier

1/5/02
Visiting: Oak Brook, Ill.
Evanston, Ill.
Kenosha, Wis.
Mt. Pleasant, Wis.
Lunch: Highland Park, Ill., Ravinia Park
Dinner: Milwaukee Wisconsin State Fair Park

1/8/02
Visiting: Terre Haute, Ind.
Clark Co., Ill.
Effingham Co., Ill.
Saint Claire Co., Mo.
Dinner: Saint Louis, Mo., Kiener Plz.

1/9/02
Visiting: Wentzville, Mo.
Lunch: Columbia, Mo., Hearns Field House
Dinner: Kansas City, Mo., Corner of Ward and Broadway Streets

1/10/02
Visiting: Saint Joseph, Mo.
Nebraska City, Neb.
Lunch: Council Bluffs, Iowa, Town Plaza on First Avenue
Dinner: Omaha, Neb., Farnum and 14th Streets

1/11/02
Visiting: Topeka, Kan.
Wichita, Kan.
Lunch: Oklahoma City, Okla., Bricktown Event Center

1/12/02
Visiting: Amarillo, Texas
Vaughn, N.M.
Lunch: Santa Fe, N.M., Downtown Plaza
Dinner: Albuquerque, N.M., Civic Plaza

1/13/02
Visiting: Maricopa, Ariz.
Scottsdale, Ariz.
Lunch: Tucson, Ariz., Reid Park
Dinner: Phoenix, Ariz., Patriot's Square Park

1/14/02
Visiting: Yuma, Ariz.
Jacumba, Calif.
Imperial Co., Calif.
Chula Vista, Calif.
Lunch: Coronado Co., Calif., Speckles Park
Dinner: San Diego, Calif., Embarcadero Marine Park

1/15/02
Visiting: Dana Point, Calif.
Newport Beach, Calif.
Lunch: Los Angeles, Calif., L.A. Coliseum
Dinner: Los Angeles, Calif., City Walk

1/16/02
Visiting: Pasadena, Calif.
Oxnard, Calif.
Ventura, Calif.
Guadalupe, Calif.
Lunch: Santa Barbara, Calif., Railroad Station
Dinner: San Luis Obispo, Calif., Monterrey and Osos Streets

1/17/02
Visiting: Paso Robles, Calif.
King City, Calif.
Soledad, Calif.
Carmel, Calif.
Monterey, Calif.
Lunch: Salinas, Calif., John Steinbeck Center
Dinner: Seaside, Calif., Canyon del Rey, Corner of Harcourt Street

1/18/02
Visiting: Santa Cruz, Calif.
Oakland, Calif.
Lunch: San Jose, Calif., Center for Performing Arts
Dinner: San Francisco, Calif., Ferry Building and Justin Herman Plaza

1/19/02
Visiting: Sausalito, Calif.
Richmond, Calif.
Walnut Grove. Calif.
Lunch: Concord, Calif., Todos Santos Plaza
Dinner: Sacramento, Calif., Old Sacramento or Capital Mall

1/20/02
Visiting: Heights, Calif.
Truckee, Calif.
Olympic Valley, Calif.
Incline Village, Calif.
Douglas, Calif.
Lunch: Squaw Valley, Calif., Sundeck at Mountain Base
Dinner: S. Lake Tahoe, Calif., Casino Parking Lot

1/21/02
Visiting: Douglas Co., Nev.
Carson City, Nev.
Lunch: Reno, Nev., Reno Arch

1/22/02
Visiting: Klamath Falls, Ore.
Eugene, Ore.
Tigard, Ore.
Lunch: Salem, Ore., Capitol Building
Dinner: Portland, Ore., Pioneer Square

1/23/02
Visiting: Vancouver, Wash.
Longview, Wash.
Tacoma, Wash.
Des Moines, Wash.
Lunch: Olympia, Wash., Farmer's Market Parking Lot
Dinner: Seattle, Wash., Seattle Center

1/25/02
Visiting: Pasco, Wash.
Kennewick, Wash.
Baker City, Ore.
Nampa, Idaho
Dinner: Boise, Idaho, Grove Plaza

1/26/02
Visiting: Pocatello, Idaho
Mountain Home, Idaho
Fort Hall Indian Reservation, Idaho
Lunch: Twin Falls, Idaho, College of Southern Idaho, Northern Parking Lot
Dinner: Idaho Falls, Idaho, Trappers Square

1/27/02
Visiting: Gallatin Co., Mont.
Lunch: Yellowstone, Wyo., Old Faithful
Dinner: Bozeman, Mont., Main Street Between Rouse and Bozeman Streets

1/28/02
Visiting: Big Timber, Mont.
Yellowstone Co.
Lunch: Columbus, Mont., Columbus High School
Dinner: Billings, Mont., Metra Park

1/29/02
Visiting: Sheridan, Wyo.
Kaycee, Wyo.
Wheatland, Wyo.
Lunch: Casper, Wyo., Recreation Center (Fourth Street)
Dinner: Cheyenne, Wyo., Frontier Days Site

1/30/02
Visiting: Ft. Collins, Colo.
Boulder, Colo.
Lunch: Longmont, Colo., Long's Peak Avenue (Recreation Center)
Dinner: Denver, Colo., Civic Center Park

1/31/02
Visiting: Littleton, Colo.
Castle Rock, Colo.
Dinner: Colorado Springs, Colo., Memorial Park

2/1/02
Visiting: Manitou Springs, Colo.
Leadville, Colo.
Lunch: Buena Vista Elementary School
Dinner: Vail, Colo., Vail Village

2/2/02
Visiting: Eagle, Colo.
Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Carbondale, Colo.
Lunch: Aspen, Colo, Wagner Park (Pedestrian Mall)
Dinner: Grand Junction, Colo., Convention Center

2/4/02
Visiting: Grand Co., Utah
Garfield Co., Utah
Arches National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Zion National Park, Utah
Lunch: Monument Valley, Utah, Visitor's Center
Dinner: Saint George, Utah, Red Cliffs Mall Parking Lot

2/5/02
Lunch: Richfield, Utah, Main Street and 200 S.
Dinner: Provo, Utah, Cougar Stadium Area, Brigham Young University

2/6/02
Visiting: Provo, Utah
American Fork, Utah
Camp Floyd State Park
Brigham City, Utah
Salt Lake Co., Utah
Antelope Island, Utah
Tremonton, Utah
Logan, Utah
Lunch: Tooele, Utah, Smith's Car Park
Dinner: Ogden, Utah, 25th Street

2/7/02
Visiting: Henefer, Utah
Midway, Utah
Heber City, Utah
Lunch: Park City, Utah, Main Street
Dinner: Salt Lake City, Utah, City and County Building

2/8/02
Visiting: West Valley City, Utah
Kearns, Utah
Sandy, Utah
Murray, Utah
Lunch: Salt Lake City, Utah, Location TB

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