Rodeo abuse is denied

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Deseret News (Salt Lake, UT)

By Rob Rogers
Deseret News staff writer

FARMINGTON – Two animal rights groups say they have video footage of steers’ tails and calves’ ears being pulled at Saturday night’s Olympic rodeo.


Officials with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association say claims of abuse are baseless.

“There’s been no mistreatment of animals,” PRCA representative Cindy Schonholtz said. “The animals are taken care of.” Pulling of tails and ears is banned by PRCA competition rules and can result in disqualification.

“There was tail-pulling,” said Steve Hindi of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, which joined with the Utah Animal Rights Coalition in making the charges. “It’s very clear,” Hindi said.

Schonholtz said she can’t promise tails and ears were never touched during events, but she said no animals have been injured in the rodeo and no animals have been mistreated.

“It has been spectacular,” she said. The rodeo has been an amazing success and the animals are happy, she said. “It’s disappointing to me.” The rodeo has gone wonderfully, and there are still these extremist claims, she said.

SLOC President Mitt Romney, in lobbying for the rodeo, said animal rights groups will have the world media as watchdogs during the Olympics, saying that if any mistreatment of animals takes place, the world will see.

However, Hindi said mistreatment has taken place and now it’s time for Romney to do something.

SLOC was unavailable for comment Monday night.

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