It was a hot and dusty Saturday morning as ACI's Officer Andrew Stewart headed out to monitor a rodeo, taking place just east of Los Angeles. Upon arriving to the Charreada, also known as a Mexican-style Rodeo, Officer Stewart was immediately concerned about a practice called 'Tailing' which was the main event being held throughout the day.
Tailing or Steer-tailing has been outlawed in many cities in California because of the cruelty involved. It consists of a horseman riding beside a running steer. The rider reaches down and grasps the tail of the steer, looping it around his leg and spur. He then veers off, quickly jerking the animal off of its feet sending it rolling to the ground. Points are awarded for falls that cause the steer to hit the ground on his back with all four legs pointed skyward simultaneously. Not surprisingly, this can cause extremely painful injuries and even broken legs for both steer and horse. Frequently, the tail of the steer can be broken or torn off.
Because these animals are destined for slaughter, very few of them receive any medical care prior to, during, or after their event. Dehydration often occurs after being held in the hot sun for hours and injuries are very common. Vet care is required if there are injuries, under California state law. But there was no vet present or even on call this day. There were also no permits filed for provisional use from the city or for Health and Safety required of public sporting events.
After witnessing the extremely cruel practice of tailing taking place, along with the many other infractions, Officer Stewart closed the event down completely, sparing the animals further abuse!
Events such as these have been held at this property for the past 5 years, but this was the first time a Humane Law Enforcement Officer had ever visited. This shows how desperately ACI is needed in this state. There is no one else to enforce these laws that protect farm animals! Other Law Officers are too busy and understaffed to be concerned with animals let alone steers, horses and other farm animals. But this is ACI's only mission. ACI will continue to monitor this property to ensure that compliance is met and will not hesitate to shut down future events that do not follow California's state anti-cruelty statutes.