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July 19, 2013
The Californian
Written by: D.L. Taylor

 

As with what happened Friday at the California Rodeo Salinas, animals can be treated humanely while in the stock pens, but when released into the arena, they can pay a price with their lives for entertaining spectators.

During the steer dogging competition early Friday afternoon, a steer went down and was fatally trampled by a horse in front of hundreds of Rodeo fans, in what animal rights groups are calling a “horrific” incident.

“The Rodeo says the animals are well cared for, which is true,” said Eric Mills, coordinator for Action for Animals, an animal rights group based in Oakland. “It’s what happens in the arena that concerns us.”

A video shot at the Rodeo Friday by Steve Hindi, founding president of animal rights group Showing Animals Kindness and Respect, shows two wranglers riding on each side of the young steer when it appears the steer attempted to make a cut in front of the inside horse. The steer was first hit by the front legs of the horse, rolling the steer onto its back, and then the horse’s rear legs came down on the steer’s exposed mid-section.

It immediately doubled into itself as another rodeo hand grabbed it by its horn and straightened it out. It didn’t move again until it was being loaded onto a plank on a forklift, when its back legs started kicking before it went still again.

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