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Nov 26th
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Fairgrounds Cancels Rodeo

The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Board of Directors has pulled the plug on plans for a rodeo in October, reversing the approval they originally gave to the rodeo’s organizers, Deputy Sheriff’s Association nonprofit Stars of Justice, at their June meeting. Stars of Justice had been planning the rodeo, which would be the first in the county in many years, as a fundraiser for local children. Although the Board’s decision was not based on the many pleas from animal rights activists, the protestors are still pleased with the outcome. “We are really supportive of the Stars of Justice wanting to raise money to help children,” says JP Novic, founder of the Center for Animal Protection and Education. “But we felt like the rodeo is the wrong venue because it’s inherently cruel. I hope that the Stars of Justice will look at other options for their fundraising event. There are so many wonderful, wholesome, non-cruel things they could do to raise money that don’t involve hurting animals.”

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written by Eric Mills, July 28, 2010
Can you spell "irony"? Is it not bizarre that a PEACE OFFICERS' association should choose to promote animal abuse to raise monies for worthy children's programs? This is both a moral and ethical issue, and both the Fair Board and the Deputy Sheriffs dropped the ball, Big Time.

As we pointed out, EVERY major animal welfare organization in North America opposes rodeos due to their inherent cruelty, and for the negative message that such mistreatment of animals sends to impressionable young children (not to mention insensitive adults).

Animal injuries and deaths are routine in the arena. A bull died and two other animals were injured at last week's California Rodeo in Salinas. In 2009, three roping calves (babies!) suffered broken legs and had to be euthanized. I was there in 1995 when FIVE animals died. Six horses died at the Calgary Stampede last week, and more than 50 since 1986. Some "sport"! Most rodeos don't even have the decency to provide on-site veterinarians.

Nor is this an "animal rights" issue. It's about animal WELFARE, common sense, and common human decency. Yes, the Deputy Sheriffs are to be commended for their efforts to fund children's programs. But surely we can come up with a more compassionate, life-affirming fund raiser than this form of legalized cruelty. We all deserve better, humans and nonhumans alike.

Eric Mills, coordinator

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