Calf-Roping Kills: We’re Going to Ban the Cruelest Show on Dirt

Calf-Roping Kills: We’re Going to Ban the Cruelest Show on Dirt

This month, with your support, we’ve launched an exciting new campaign to ban rodeo starting with Alameda County, California, followed by the state of California, and then across the nation!

Throughout May, commuters and potential rodeo fans in the Bay Area are being greeted by a billboard with the message “Calf-Roping Kills” alongside the face of a helpless victim of rodeo’s notorious calf roping contest. The billboard stands on Highway 580, one of the busiest routes in the San Francisco Bay Area and will continue to run during Castro Valley’s Rowell Ranch Rodeo. It’s so close to the rodeo, you can almost hear the screams of the calves.

Rodeo is truly the cruelest show on dirt, and calf roping is perhaps the cruelest event of all. The terrified calves burst out of the gate at speeds approaching 30 miles per hour to escape electric shocks and handlers who twist and yank their tails. Cowboys then lasso the calves around their necks, snapping their heads back as they come to an abrupt halt. The calves’ bodies are slammed to the ground, the wind knocked out of them, and their legs tied together. Calves may scream (if they can breathe), and defecate from the terror.

For the baby cow victims of calf roping, the norm is suffering, injury, and death, rather than the exception.  Many suffer serious neck and back injuries, such as torn ligaments, broken bones, and even severed spinal cords and tracheas, while others die from internal hemorrhaging. Dr. Peggy Larson, a former bareback bronco rider and large animal veterinarian, compares calf roping to “a 220 to 280-pound man hanging himself.”

These baby cows are forced to suffer horribly for the amusement of a few, until they’re too injured or used-up to perform, and their short, miserable lives end in the slaughterhouse. It’s time to ban rodeo.

Learn more and take action to end calf-roping cruelty at

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