Officials to review rodeo video to see if animals were abused

Wednesday, May 13, 1998

Chicago Tribune

By Robert Derocher

County board members will likely review videotape of alleged animal abuse by the rodeo troupe scheduled to appear at the Kane County Fair this summer, with an eye toward legislation that would bar cruel treatment of animals.

Board Chairman Michael McCoy said Tuesday that he would make available to the board a tape that the Chicago Animal Rights Coalition will provide to him, showing alleged abuses by the Big Hat Rodeo Co., which is scheduled to appear in Kane County on July 25.

Coalition President Steve Hindi of North Aurora called on the board to pass an ordinance that would bar rodeos from using electric prods, spurs and other methods to coerce the animals into performing. The coalition has made or will soon make similar pitches to officials in DuPage, Cook, Will, Boone and Kendall Counties, where rodeos are scheduled this summer.

The Kane County Board will also be provided copies of legislation passed in Pittsburgh, which prohibits mistreatment of rodeo animals. While the coalition is not directly opposed to rodeos, it does condemn harming the animals, Hindi said.

The Pittsburgh ordinance effectively stopped rodeos there, Hindi said, and that would happen in other areas as well. "It has been our experience that you can't conduct a rodeo without cruelty," Hindi said.

Big Hat Rodeo has consistently denied that it mistreats its animals, saying it acts quickly to treat any animal injury.

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