VICTORY: Supervisors Ban Wild Cow Milking in Unincorporated Alameda County Rodeos

VICTORY: Supervisors Ban Wild Cow Milking in Unincorporated Alameda County Rodeos

In a win against rodeo cruelty, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on October 18, 2022, to approve an ordinance amendment that bans the wild cow milking rodeo event in unincorporated regions of the county. The ban will become law in 30 days.

Wild cow milking is an event that forces lactating mother cows who are separated from their nursing calves into a loud, bright arena. Two competitors on horseback then rope her around the neck and forcefully take her milk. These events are traumatic and terrifying for the cows involved, and inherently carry a high risk of injury for both the cows and the humans involved.

Over 18,000 In Defense of Animals supporters contacted the Board of Supervisors urging them to end cruel rodeo practices including wild cow milking, which resulted in a victory for mother cows who will no longer be subjected to these events. This resulting ban is largely the credit of those of you who shared your concerns for the sentient, emotional animals who are forced into these rodeo events. Veterinarians, staff and owners of farmed animal sanctuaries, and concerned citizens also added their voices to this cause, speaking up during public comment periods before the Board of Supervisors, illustrating the importance of this ban.

In a particularly tragic Rowell Ranch Rodeo incident in 2014, a cow attempted to escape during a wild cow milking event by trying to jump over a fence. In her panic, she landed on her head, suffering a broken neck. She was later euthanized due to her tragic injuries.

Credit: Silver Reaction Media

In 2019, after receiving letters from hundreds of In Defense of Animals supporters, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors took a step in the right direction by passing a ban on cruel “mutton busting” — an event where children jump on and ride terrified sheep.

Although this amendment did not encompass many of the proposed bans on rodeo tools and events it initially included, we’re grateful this ban was passed and we will continue to advocate to stop rodeo cruelty. 

To learn more about what we’re doing and get involved, visit our Rodeo campaign.

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