Rodeo LiveStock Welfare
Animal Rights Moonbats rant and carry on about the treatment of rodeo livestock. Actually their baseless and ignorant claims have probably costs the lives of more rodeo livestock than any other reason.
For many, many years, a lot of rodeo stock contractors would go to livestock auctions to look for horses and bulls that were no longer wanted for a variety of reasons. Many of the horses were, for whatever reasons, were incorrigible and no one could ride them or handle them. Most of these unwanted livestock animals would be auctioned off to slaughter houses for dog food or shipped to Europe as the Europeans are big horse meat eaters. Matter of fact, there is a billion dollar a year industry in the United States that ships horsemeat to Europe. In many states, it is illegal for humans to consume horse meat. Most of this type of legislation across the country has been passed by left-wing legislators backed by Animal Rights Moonbats. These Animal Rights Moonbats want to regulate what someone can eat (I believe that that desire to control what people choose to do is called Communism or Nazism - funny how one's right to choose is limited to abortion, but doesn't extend to what someone wants to eat or better yet where someone wants to send their children to school. I love how the word "choice" works for some issues but not others). These Animal Rights Moonbats can be very easily labeled racists as Native American Indians ate horsemeat as part of their diet. With these news laws in place, Native American Indians cannot eat food that their ancestors ate for many, many years. Now, I don't know if I could ever eat horsemeat, but if put in a situation of starving to death or eating a horse to stay alive, well, you decide what you would do.
Many of the horses and bulls purchased from livestock auctions were bought by rodeo stock contractors and these animals were given a second lease on life. Also, people who could no longer afford or wanted their horses would approach rodeo livestock contractors to take the horse. A lot of rodeo horses that were unwanted horses excelled at the sport of rodeo. They were kind of like the Oakland Raiders of the 60's and 70's. If any of you remember the legend behind the Oakland Raiders, the team was made up of players who failed miserably on other teams, but when they came to Oakland to play, they were given a second chance and usually did quite well.
However, as the Animal Rights Moonbats began to harass and make outlandish claims about animal abuse in the sport of rodeo, the rodeo stock contractors began to breed and raise their own livestock. This move has actually helped the sport of rodeo more than ever. Rodeo stock contractors have "Born to Buck" programs were they put a lot of time and money into raising high-end, extremely athletic rodeo livestock. The bar was raised on the performance of the rodeo livestock, thus the cowboys who rode them had to raise their skill level. The cowboys and the rodeo livestock are now the cream of the crop. Old time champion cowboys look at the level of rodeo stock today and know that it takes a great deal of time, training and dedication to compete in today's sport of rodeo.
Raising these high performance bulls and horses is not easy and it takes money. Feed, vet bills, hoof care, breeding, and maintaining these animals is extremely expensive. This is a 24-hour a day, seven day-a week job. Animals don't understand things like Christmas, holidays and vacation. Rodeo stock contractors can't just up and leave for a couple days in Hawaii and let the stock take care of themselves. On top of that, if one gets sick with something like a virus, the rest will get sick and vet bills with 20 or 30 horses can get up in to the $5,000 range within a couple of minutes. So rodeo stock contractors cannot and will not abuse their animals - this is their bread and butter. Plus abusing animals will get you no where fast.
These rodeo livestock animals, however, pretty much live life like a king. First of all, they work no more than 8 seconds per week. During the rodeo season they will usually have to be transported to a week-end rodeo. This usually occurs on Thursday or Friday, depending on how far the rodeo is from their home. One important note: Livestock transported over state lines requires not only a slew of vaccinations and paperwork, but if the state line inspectors believe that any of the animals are abused, they can easily report to authorities and the rodeo stock contractor's business is over. The livestock is then used only on one day of the weekend - either Saturday or Sunday and then transported home. The most stressful aspect of the livestock's live would be the transportation. It is not easy for a four-legged animal to stand in a moving trailer. However, the rodeo stock contractors have huge investment in large 18-wheeler trucks and trailers which are built for long hauls and are more comfortable for the livestock.
The livestock is kept in huge pastures with the freedom to do what livestock will most likely do and that is graze. They are not stalled or penned up and are not ridden by any one. In the off season, again, they are kept in huge pastures, fed, shod and given whatever medical attention that they need. Not much is require of them.
The proof positive that these rodeo animals are not abused is that the average age of a rodeo horse is about 20 years old. Now, let's put this undeniable fact (Okay, so facts are hard for Animal Rights Moonbats to grasp, but let's go ahead and give it a shot anyway) in perspective. The solution that I hear from most Animal Rights Moonbats is that animals want to be free. Well, the average age that a horse will reach in the wild is about 16. They are exposed to predators, sickness and are more likely to fall and break a leg and die a horrible death than their "captive" brothers and sisters. My first horse lived to be 37 years old. Her daughter is now 30 years old. I have another rope horse that is about 23 and still roping - at a leisurely pace.
Rodeo livestock is not abused and not mistreated. The only claim that these Animal Rights Moonbats can make has to do with cattle prods that produce 5,000 to 6,000 volts without any AMPERAGE. This is nothing more than a sting and doesn't cause bulls or horses to go wild. This is all the Moonbats know or understand about rodeo. If they knew more, they would be embarrassed to make the stupid claims that they make. They know nothing about horses, bulls, or any other animal for that matter.
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