National Western Stock Show , Beef Palace, Mutton Busting, and animal welfare rules
how the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association views animal welfare and animal rights, National Western Stock Show begins this Saturday
Animal Welfare vs. Animal Rights
An important distinction to make when dealing with animal issues is the difference between animal welfare and animal rights. After learning the difference between the two philosophies, it is easier to distinguish between organizations that directly help animals and those who wish to end the use of animals.
Animal Welfare - based on principles of humane care and use. Organizations who support animal welfare principles seek to improve the treatment and well-being of animals. Supporting animal welfare premises means believing humans have the right to use animals, but along with that right comes the responsibility to provide proper and humane care and treatment.
Animal Rights - organizations that support animal rights philosophies seek to end the use and ownership of animals. Animal rights organizations seek to abolish by law: the raising of farm animals for food and clothing, rodeos, circuses, zoos, hunting, trapping, fishing, the use of animals in lifesaving biomedical research, the use of animals in education and the breeding of pets. The largest groups that support these ideas are the Humane Society of the United States and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Many organizations who in the past have been considered animal welfare organizations have made the move towards animal rights. The Humane Society of the United States has shifted resources from serving animals directly to educational programs against farming, fur wearing, fishing, hunting, animals in entertainment and other staples of American life. The most dangerous trend is the trend of these organizations to step into the legislative field and promote legislation to ban these and other activities that involve animals.
PRCA Animal Welfare Guidelines Set Standards for Rodeo
Members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association believe, as do most people, that animals should be treated humanely. The PRCA staunchly protects its animals with rules designed to insure proper care and treatment. More than 60 rules and regulations that govern all aspects of care, treatment, travel and competition are a part of the PRCA's animal welfare program. A veterinarian is required to be on-site at all PRCA rodeo performances and sections of slack.
The PRCA publishes factual information regarding humane treatment of rodeo livestock. In addition, the PRCA has educational information available to schools, 4-H and FFA clubs, rodeo committees and others interested in learning more about the PRCA and the animals involved.
PRCA Animal Welfare Rules
The 60 rules and regulations that are a part of the PRCA"s extensive animal welfare program are enforced by professional rodeo judges on-site at each PRCA sanctioned event.
The following are a few of the rules that safeguard the animals:
No locked rowels, or rowels that will lock on spurs may be used on bareback horses or saddle broncs. Spurs must be dulled.
Animals for all events shall be inspected before the draw. No sore, lame, or sick animals, or animals with defective eyesight, shall be permitted in the draw at any time.
A rodeo committee shall insure that a veterinarian is present for every performance and section of slack.
If a member abuses an animal by any unnecessary, non-competitive or competitive action, he may be disqualified for the remainder of the rodeo and fined $250 for the first offense, with that fine progressively doubling with each offense thereafter. Any member guilty of mistreatment of livestock anywhere on the rodeo grounds shall be fined $250 for the first offense, with that fine progressively doubling with any offense thereafter.
No stock shall be confined or transported in vehicles for a period beyond 24 hours without being properly fed, watered and unloaded.
No timed-event cattle that have been used may be held over from one calendar year to the next.
All team roping cattle shall be protected by horn wraps.
Are professional rodeo animals injured often?
A 1993-94 survey conducted at 28 PRCA rodeos indicates that the injury rate for animals was so low as to be statistically negligible. Of 33,991 animal exposures, just 16 were injured, according to data compiled by on-site veterinarians. That translates to an injury rate of less than five-hundredths of 1 percent (0.00047, to be exact) or less than one animal in 2,000.
All of the veterinarians who took part in the survey reported that the animals were well cared for and the rodeo grounds were in good condition. Other surveys throughout the years have also shown that animal injury rates in professional rodeo are extremely low.
A complete listing of animal welfare rules can be found in the PRCA published Humane Facts booklet which can be obtained in the PRCA online store.
Text Courtesy of the PRCA
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