SHARK Sues the Salinas Rodeo
Litigation - Article Series: from All-Creatures.org Articles Archive

FROM

SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK)
December 2014

California law requires the reporting of rodeo animal injuries. The intent was to make rodeos transparent. Instead, the law has not been enforced, but rather, manipulated to make rodeos appear harmless.

SHARK is suing the California Rodeo Salinas the largest rodeo in California and one of the largest rodeos in the US for failing to report animal injuries to the State Veterinary Medical Board, as required under California law.

rodeo steer dies
A steer brutally injured at the 2014 California Salinas rodeo

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed the suit Wednesday in Monterey County Superior Court on behalf of SHARK. Also named as a defendant is California Rodeo Salinas head veterinarian Tim Eastman.

Read the lawsuit here (PDF).

The defendants are accused of significantly under-reporting the number of animals injured at the California Rodeo Salinas. In the last two years, SHARK has video documented injuries, sometimes fatal, to 41 yet the rodeo has reported only four of those injuries.

The lawsuit notes that SHARK has attended the California Rodeo Salinas and videotaped injuries to animals, including calves limping in pain after being dragged to the ground, and a horse with a tennis ball-sized wound on his neck. Expert veterinary assessment of this footage confirms those injuries required immediate veterinary care, and should have been reported. But to mask the inherent danger of rodeo events, California Rodeo Salinas drastically and chronically under-reported animal injuries.

California law requires the reporting of rodeo animal injuries. The intent was to make rodeos transparent. Instead, the law has not been enforced, but rather, manipulated to make rodeos appear harmless.

SHARK heartily thanks the Animal Legal Defense Fund for stepping up on this issue, and representing SHARK in this lawsuit. The rodeo industry has for far too long gotten away with covering up animal injuries and deaths, and we hope this is a step in the right direction to holding these cruel people accountable.

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