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The 2021 Fight for the Los Angeles Rodeo Inhumane Implements Ban


October 15, 2021 - Last Chance for Animals (LCA) has taken out billboards around Los Angeles in support of the Municipal Ordinance that would ban "tools of torture" at rodeo events held in the city. The billboards feature a bull roped in the mouth with the text "L.A.: Help Ban Torture Devices at the Rodeo" and aim to raise public awareness about the issue.

The Ordinance, brought forward by CouncilMember Bob Blumenfield, would ban the use of the tools used to control animals - such as electric prods and shocking devices, flank or bucking straps, spurs and rowels, and wiretowns - at rodeo events held in L.A. Although this is not an outright ban, it is impossible to hold rodeos without the devices that torment animals into performing.  It is important to note the L.A. inhumane implements ban is modeled after a similar Ordinance that passed in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1992. Pittsburgh is now considered a "blackout city" for rodeos. 

In February 2021, L.A. City Council voted unanimously in favour of the Ordinance and it is currently being drafted by the City Attorney's office. However, in for to be passed into law, the Ordinance will need to be voted on again by L.A. City CouncilMembers. The rodeo industry has been heavily lobbying CouncilMembers to vote against the Ordinance, which is why it is important to voice your support today!!

Ways You Can Help!

1. Leave a public comment of support on L.A. City Council File #20-1575.

2. Email your CouncilMember in support of the Ordinance. Click here to find your CouncilMember.

Sample Correspondence

Dear CouncilMember:

I am (writing / calling / emailing) as your Constituent to express my full support for the rodeo inhumane implements ban in the City of Los Angeles, which was passed unanimously by CouncilMembers in February 2021. Rodeos are disturbing spectacles of animal cruelty that inflict tremendous suffering on animals forced to perform in this "sport".

The City of Los Angeles has always taken a progressive approach to animal welfare and I commend City Council for voting in favour of this Ordinance. I urge you to follow up to help ensure the rodeo inhumane implements ban is signed into law.


(Your Name)

3. Send a letter in support of the Ordinance to a local L.A. newspaper.


February 23, 2021 - Los Angeles City CouncilMembers unanimously voted in favor of a Motion, (File 20-1575),to ban the use of inhumane implements in rodeos and rodeo events. The Motion requests the City Attorney draft and present an Ordinance. 


February 17, 2021 - A Personnel, Audits, and Animal Welfare Committee meeting was held, and a rodeo inhumane implements ban was one of the items on the agenda. The Committee voted in favor of enacting the ban and it will now be referred to City Council to vote on. If City Council votes to pass the ban, it will be referred to the LA City Attorney to draft the ordinance. 

Los Angeles could be one step closer to enacting a Municipal ordinance to ban the use of inhumane implements in rodeos and rodeo events in the city. The City of Los Angeles Council File # 20-1575, is titled "Inhumane Implements / Electric Prods or Shocking Devices / Flank or Bucking Straps / Wire Tiedowns / Sharpened or Fixed Spurs or Rowels / Prohibition / Rodeo Events" and was put forward in December 2020 by CouncilMember Bob Blumenfield (District 3) and seconded by CouncilMember Mitch O'Farrell (District 13).


2020 - Bull Riding Protest at Los Angeles Staples Center

February 8, 2020 - LCA and a coalition of animal rights groups held a demonstration at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, to protest the Professional Bull Riders' (PBR) exhibition of animal cruelty. The demonstration drew a large crowd of passionate animal advocates to protest the abhorrent cruelty of bull riding - a "sport" that abuses animals for profit. LCA started a petition urging the LA City Council to ban rodeos and rodeo type events in Los Angeles. 


2019 - Help Ban Cruel Chuckwagon Races in Calgary, Canada!

July 14, 2019 - Three horses were euthanized after sustaining serious injuries during the final night of chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede's Rangeland Derby. In total, six horses were killed--making this 10-day event the deadliest in almost a decade!


2019 - Bull Riding Protest at Los Angeles Staples Center

February 22 & 23, 2019 - PBR's (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash the Beast Tour brought its exhibition of animal cruelty to the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the first time ever for their "Iron Cowboy" bull riding competition.

February 23, 2019 LCA, along with actress Donna D'Errico and a coalition of animal rights organizations, protested PBR's abhorrent abuse of bulls for profit. The demonstration, which was held at the Staples Center, drew a large crowd of protesters who educated passers-by about the cruelties of bull riding.


             donna derrico and protester       crowd of protesters 2   
             abused animals banner    crowd of protesters


petition link




Rodeo animals like bulls and horses are generally tamerodeo photo creatures who must be provoked into battle. Rodeo contestants practice their "games" on numerous animals, at times injuring and killing many of them before they even enter the ring. Depending on the event, a contestant's score is based on how long he can ride a struggling animal, or how quickly he can overpower an animal, e.g., calf roping and steer wrestling. Sprains, broken bones, muscle pulls, saddle blisters, spur and flank strap wounds, broken ribs, bruising, and broken necks are all very common. Wounded animals are quickly removed while the rodeo announcer distracts the public and animals that become too injured are killed.                                                                                                                                          


Rodeo handlers often shock the bull repeatedly using a 5,000-volt electric prod while he is trapped in the bucking chute in order to torment him. In the ring, the bull bucks and struggles because of the pain inflicted by the flank strap while the participant attempts to control him. Bucking straps and spurs can cause the bull to buck excessively, thereby injuring him.

Bull Injuries 

  • Broken legs  
  • Broken back


Three- to four-month-old calves are tormented in the holding pen. Their tails are frequently scraped across the pen’s metal bars until they bleed. Other times, their tails are twisted, or the animals are shocked with electric prods until the gate opens. As a result, they run quickly into the ring. The contestant, who is mounted on a horse, chases a calf, then lassoes him by the neck. The rope often jerks the calf into the air, snapping his head back and causing him to gasp for air. He then falls to the ground where the contestant ties three of the calf’s hind legs together so that he cannot move.

Calf Injuries 

  • Broken legs  
  • Back injuries and broken backs  
  • Spinal cord paralysis  
  • Neck injuries and broken necks  
  • Severed tracheas  
  • Internal hemorrhaging  
  • Damage to internal organs  
  • Bruises  
  • Torn ligaments 

The contestant, mounted on a horse, chases the steer out of the holding chute. He grabs the steer’s horns while dismounting, twists the animal’s neck, and slams him to the ground.

Steer Injuries

  • Broken necks 
  • Torn ligaments 
  • Broken bones 
  • Severed spinal cords 
  • Severed tracheas 
  • Internal bleeding

The “flank” is the area of the animal’s body behind his rib cage. An adjustable belt called a “bucking strap” or “flank strap” is placed around the horse’s flank. The contestant tightens the belt, which pinches the animal’s groin and genitals, causing him to buck from the pain. He also spurs the horse.

Horse Injuries

  • Broken neck 
  • Snapped spine 
  • Back problems 
  • Tears in leg tendons 

In the holding chute, handlers may incite the bucking horse by shocking her, pulling her mane or tail, or slapping her face. The bucking strap and spurs cause her great pain and sometimes produce bloody wounds in the flank area. She will buck uncontrollably as a result, sometimes slamming into fences, posts, or chutes. Eventually, she will trip and fall.

Horse Injuries

  • Back injuries 
  • Leg injuries   

A steer is forced to run while the mounted contestant throws a rope around his horns. He then flips the rope to the right side of the steer, while turning his horse, who is galloping, to the left. The steer’s head and neck are jerked, causing him to be tripped, rolled, and dragged. His legs are then tied. If the steer does not stay down the first time, he will be tripped and dragged until he does so.

Steer Injuries

  • Fractured horns 
  • Neck injuries 
  • Back sores
  • Hip sores 

Mexican-style rodeos include horse tripping events and sharpened spurs which even most U.S. rodeo organizers find to be excessively cruel. 


  • Electric prods 
  • Sharp sticks 
  • Caustic ointments 
  • Flank straps 
  • Whips 
  • Raking spurs 


There is no overall code of rules applicable to all rodeos. The rules that do exist are inadequate and leniently enforced, and penalties are very weak. Rodeo contestants are rarely disciplined for injuring or even killing an animal. Rules requiring a veterinarian to be present at every event and to provide immediate veterinary attention to injured animals must be established and enforced at once.


Rodeo animals travel constantly in cramped, double-deck trailers or pens. The trailers are frequently inadequately ventilated, and the animals are often fed and watered erratically. They do not receive proper veterinary care. Animals that break free from their pens are commonly shot by police.


Rodeo calves, cows, and steers are seen as expendable. Thus, most live rather short lives. Almost all rodeo animals end up in the slaughterhouse.


A growing number of jurisdictions already have rodeo prohibitions or restrictions in place, including:

  • Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Southhampton, New York  
  • Pasadena, California  
  • Chino Hills, California
  • Napa County, California
  • Laguna Woods, California
  • Auckland, New Zealand 
  • United Kingdom 
  • Quebec, Canada 

From July 16 to July 19, 2015, LCA and SHARK released four television ads alerting consumers about animal cruelty in rodeos. The ads coincided with the Salinas Rodeo and aired on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and other major networks. Click here to read the press release.

Salinas Rodeo Ad 1 Salinas Rodeo Ad 2
Salinas Rodeo Ad 3 Salinas Rodeo Ad 4



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