MEDIA RELEASE: Alameda Bans Wild Cow Milking at Rodeos

MEDIA RELEASE: Alameda Bans Wild Cow Milking at Rodeos

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (Oct. 18, 2022)In Defense of Animals welcomes an ordinance amendment that bans the wild cow milking rodeo event in unincorporated Alameda County, despite a reduction in initially proposed animal protection measures.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors held a second reading of a proposed ordinance amendment that would ban wild cow milking at rodeos in areas of unincorporated Alameda County, and voted unanimously to approve the ordinance on Oct. 18. The ban will become law in 30 days.

The approval of this ban follows a meeting held on Sept. 20 where the Alameda County Board of Supervisors heard hours of public comment regarding the original ordinance amendment that would have banned the “use [of] spurs or bucking straps upon any animal during any entertainment or sporting event, including during a rodeo or practice for a rodeo," tie-down calf roping and wild cow milking. After deliberation by the Board, Supervisor Richard Valle introduced a motion that would strike all provisions from the originally proposed amendment except for the prohibition of wild cow milking. The first reading of the newly modified ordinance amendment proposal was held that day.

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.

Watch: Wild-cow milking video

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.

“We are grateful the Alameda County Board of Supervisors has passed this important ban on wild cow milking. This ban will protect lactating mother cows from being injured and terrified in the rodeo arenas of unincorporated Alameda County and is a positive step towards a more compassionate relationship with these sentient, gentle animals,” said Erin Dobrzyn, Farmed Animals Campaigner with In Defense of Animals.

In a particularly tragic Rowell Ranch Rodeo incident in 2014, a female 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 injuries.

In 2019, after being contacted by 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.


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Contact: Erin Dobrzyn,, (215) 620-2130

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin County, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.

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