HSUS attempt to wipe out rodeo tradition foiled in Oregon legislature

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The Oregon Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources announced today it has nixed a public hearing scheduled for Thursday, February 24 on Senate Bill 613. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)-backed initiative was aimed at wiping out Oregon's thriving rodeo tradition by banning the roping of livestock. Legislative leaders said the measure also lacked support in the Oregon House of Representatives, and lawmakers will not address SB 613 again this session.

The so-called "horse tripping" bill would have outlawed the archaic practice of roping horses by the legs, causing them to crash violently to the ground. "Tripping" of horses was voluntarily banned by the Charro Rodeo Association in 1995. Some Oregon rodeos, such as the historic Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo, still include horse roping among the event lineup. However, strict rules safeguard the horses' welfare, disqualifying contestants who mistreat a horse or cause it to fall.

"No rodeo event in Oregon condones, or conducts, horse tripping. Oregon has comprehensive laws in place to protect animals. This bill was totally unnecessary. It was nothing more than a first step by HSUS to ban all roping of all animals in our state," Dave Duquette, United Horsemen CEO and President, said.

"Horses are livestock, and if this bill had become law, it would have set the precedent for making it illegal to rope a cow. After all, they're both livestock - what's the difference between horses' legs and cows' legs?" he added.

United Horsemen members called, wrote and e-mailed their Oregon Senators to let them know the truth about the misleading bill. They were joined by other SB 613 opponents, including the American Quarter Horse Association, the Oregon Quarter Horse Association, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys' Association, the Pendleton Round-Up and many other rodeo directors, supporters and horsemen from around Oregon and the Northwest.

Duquette emphasized the need to remain vigilant against other HSUS-backed legislation. "The HSUS goal is to gradually pick away at owners' rights to decide what is best for our horses and livestock," Duquette said. "They hide their agenda behind pretty language about protecting animals. But we are finally starting to educate the public about what is behind the curtain. Oregonians are too smart to fall for the misleading HSUS rhetoric. Those of us who love horses, livestock and the Western lifestyle need to work together to preserve our heritage and the right to decide what is best for our animals."

An excerpt from an email circulated by HSUS' Oregon Director, Scott Beckstead, in response to the news that SB 613 had been killed: _"We will continue to carefully monitor both the Big Loop rodeos in eastern Oregon, as well as the clandestine charro rodeos in other areas... Rest assured this bill will be sponsored again in the next session, and we will not stop trying until we finally get the law passed..."

Source: United Organizations of the Horse

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Rhode Island  |  February, 25, 2011 at 04:51 PM

Oregonians aren't falling for any compassion and anti-cruelty measures and choose instead to remain in the stone age. Clinging to miserable archaic practices deemed barbaric by any civilized human.

Oregon  |  February, 25, 2011 at 07:17 PM

Thanks for playing "Anti-Cruelty", but try a little reading comprehension. Horse tripping is already illegal. This was not about "horse tripping". This was about using a rope on any livestock for any reason and Oregonians saw right through it. HSUS has demonstrated that it is anti-animal and anti-common sense. The HSUS suits in Washington D.C. have no livestock experience and they're trying to tell us how to work with our livestock. This is not about cruelty. Never is with HSUS. This is about an agenda of eroding people's rights to keep and enjoy animals. If you know of anyone actually being cruel to their animals - by all means report them. But that is not what this law was about. The term "clandestine rodeo" makes me laugh. How do you secretly get together hundreds of people with livestock and no one knows about it? Seriously?

Eric Mills    
Oakland, CA  |  February, 26, 2011 at 08:42 PM

A sad day for Oregon and the truth. Perhaps next time the bill's paranoid opponents will actually read the bill before trashing it out-of-hand. The bill's intent was to outlaw "horse tripping," in which running horses are roped by their legs. The Mexican-style rodeo ("charreada") features nine standard scored events, three of which involve roping the horse's legs: "manganas a caballo" (roping the front legs of a running horse from horseback); "manganas a pie" (roping the front legs of a running horse from on foot); and "piales" (in which the horse's HIND legs are roped). Some "sport"! An even more brutal event called "steer tailing" ("colas") should also be outlawed, as was done in Nebraska in 2008. In this event, a mounted charro (cowboy) grabs a running steer by the tail, wraps the tail around leg and stirrup, rides off at an angle, then drags/slams the hapless animal to the ground. Bruises and contusions are routine, sometimes tails are broken, even stripped off ("degloved"). I have video footage. And horses may have their legs broken when the steer runs the wrong way. None of these events are standard ranching practice anywhere in the U.S., nor are they sanctioned by the PRCA or any other American-style rodeo association. Even the late Cesar Chavez was opposed. And yes, charreadas generally ARE "clandestine." Few of the general public are aware that these events occur. They're generally word-of-mouth, or advertised on Spanish-speaking stations. RECOMMENDED VIEWING: www.charrousa.com and www.mundocharro.com. And the YouTube videos, of course. Nine states have now banned horse tripping. California was the first, in 1994. Since then, so have New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, Maine, Florida, Arizona and Nebraska. Please educate yourselves about the reality of these events, then put a stop to them. Common human decency demands it.

Texas  |  February, 28, 2011 at 10:55 AM

I agree with Anti-HSUS's statement... HSUS is trying to end ALL animal suffering. Well, if you would look at any of their publications, website, etc. you would see that they want to take our human rights away of being able to utilize animals for work, economic growth, and consumption. I agree that they should be treated humanely (i.e. not suffering/ starving to death, not abused, and proper feed and care provided), but because of all of their involvement and the closing of horse slaughter facilities we now have sky rocketing cases of horses suffering, starving to death, being abused, not being fed or having proper care provided. So tell me HSUS who are you helping? Keep helping animals from being abused, but stay out of the general publics business if they are treating the animal well!

eastern oregon    
oregon  |  February, 28, 2011 at 01:25 PM

suzanne, HSUS is not BREEDING horses... Now more than ever I hear people saying no we are not going to breed her, No one wants horses... the people who were just randomly breeding a mare because it was a mare are NOT doing that for the most part, NOT like it used to be, However good ol davey boy continues to breed masses... along with many others. Look at the people who are arguing this bill, and others, they are people who have something to gain by making sure there is something for these horses to be purchased / used / possibly abused for... the gain is MONEY, Davey boy wants to have someone ANYONE buy his horses and if there are excess horses out there because of the anti slaughter laws then his horses are harder to sell when others who don't want to resort to the butcher man for disposal simply advertise Free horse to good home... it HURTS people like Dave but only in the pocket book, He could care less if one or many of his own horses that HE bred ended up in those arena's or even on the kill floor. And that is a FACT if he cared then he would be microchipping every foal born of his pairing and have contracts on the purchase of any horse he would sell, deeming that he would take reposession of any horse that the purchaser could no longer care for back into his posession for rehomeing. Ask Davey boy if he is willing to do that ? I dare you people to find out the truth about the opposition for this bill, it has nothing to do with Banning Rodeo FACT is there was specific wording in the bill to provide PROTECTION for PRCA and other SANCTIONED RODEO events as well as it was specifically worded to NOT Affect legitimate Ranch work !!! Do your own damn homework, show your intelligence.

Canada  |  March, 01, 2011 at 12:39 AM

Rodeo and circus should be banned everywhere. It is sadistic, cruel and uncivil. Animal are not thing they are living being. PS I have no problems with pet ownership as long pet are treated well. I'm not against zoos because they promote conservation, education and saving species. I prefer zoos with a lot of diversity so the animal don't go back and forth with anxiety.

manhattan, ks.  |  March, 01, 2011 at 05:34 PM

Looks like the anti-common HSUS supporters didn't like this article much, but its prob just the same person using different names.

john alps    
Culver, OR  |  March, 01, 2011 at 09:09 PM

It is refreshing to finally have some people in our government that show a little common sense!

Colo  |  March, 02, 2011 at 11:57 AM

HSUS doesn't give a rat's patudy about animals. They are a non-profit organization operating a for-profit business. They spend less than 1% of their millions on animals, the rest goes to lobbying, Wayne Pucell and buddys, and getting anti-animal legislation on ballots. Good for you Oregon!

I like ponies    
New York  |  March, 02, 2011 at 06:39 PM

You obviously don't know anything about the HSUS. They rescue dogs who were bred to breed and save horses from slaughter. They saved hundreds (if not thousands) of animals during and after katrina and other disasters. They do wonderful things to save animals. You should see their videos too. They'er actually pretty good. I'M NOT TRYING TO CRITICIZE YOU (I'm just a kid), but it's the truth. The "SPORT" of calf-roping is like having adults tie ropes about children and dragging them. Calfs are babies. Babies should not be roped. The "sport" of horse tripping gives people large amounts of prize money to see who can trip a galloping horse (who will end up injured by falling on their neck, backs, head, etc.) in the fastest amount of time. I love the western riding tradition (I'm an english rider), but putting ropes around animals for money is, to me, not a sport. These "sports" may seem normal to people in the western parts of the U.S., but in the mid-west and the East, these are not sports. They are cruelty ways to treat animals, just like dog-fighting, cock-fighting, horse slaughter, puppy mills, and farm factories.

Sam Johnson    
Nebraska  |  March, 11, 2011 at 11:37 AM

We will stop ropeing livestock when you New England hypocrites stop boiling lobsters, clams, and crabs alive. Pass the butter please.

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