Animal Groups Sue California Rodeo Salinas for Underreporting Animal Injuries

Posted on December 17, 2014

Animal Groups Document Severe Animal Suffering, Legal Violations at Salinas Rodeo

For immediate release:

Megan Backus, ALDF
Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
Steve Hindi, SHARK

Salinas, Calif. — Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit against the California Rodeo Salinas and its head veterinarian Tim Eastman for failing to report animal injuries to the state veterinary medical board, as required under California law. The defendants are accused of significantly underreporting the number of animals injured at the California Rodeo Salinas, the largest rodeo in the state and one of the largest in the country. In the last two years, the nonprofit SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) has documented injuries to 41 animals—yet the rodeo has reported only four of those injuries. The lawsuit was filed in the Monterey County Superior Court on behalf of SHARK, who has had to spend its limited resources monitoring the rodeo and documenting unreported injuries to animals.

The California Rodeo Salinas holds an annual rodeo each summer in mid-July, drawing crowds of approximately 50,000 people. Events include steer wrestling, bull riding, calf roping, and team roping, all of which pose serious risks of injury to animals. For the last two years, SHARK has attended the California Rodeo Salinas and videotaped more than forty injuries to animals, including calves limping in pain after being dragged to the ground, and a horse with a tennis ball-sized wound on his neck. Expert veterinary assessment of this footage confirms that these injuries required immediate veterinary care, and should have been reported. But to mask the inherent dangerousness of rodeo events, California Rodeo Salinas has drastically and chronically underreported animal injuries.

“California law requires the reporting of rodeo animal injuries,” says Steve Hindi, founder and president of SHARK. “The intent was to make rodeos transparent. Instead, the law has not been enforced, but rather, manipulated to make rodeos appear harmless.”

“California law recognizes that rodeos endanger the animals who are forced to participate, which is why the law requires veterinarians to report animal injuries,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Without transparency, groups such as ALDF and SHARK cannot hold rodeos accountable for the suffering they cause. This lawsuit is intended to change that.”

Copies of the complaint and video footage are available by request.

52 thoughts on “Animal Groups Sue California Rodeo Salinas for Underreporting Animal Injuries

  1. Thea Spaanstra says:

    This is so cruel; STOP IT!!!

  2. Connie Colvin says:

    This rodeo must be stopped using terrible animal cruelty, horrifying!

  3. Mark Jennerjohn says:

    This barbaric cruelty must stop!

  4. Ineke van Wetten says:

    I don’t even have to tell you why this should stop, be a decent human being and you know why this should be stopped.

  5. Marcia says:

    stop this cruelty..just for human entertainment….such bullies and evilness …watch television instead

  6. sonia deutsch says:

    This needs to STOP NOW anyone with a heart knows this is wrong

  7. Sandy dibble says:

    its just plain cruel! That’s why it needs to stop!

  8. Stephanie Wilber says:

    I actually thought I was seeing something filmed in a third world country..surely we Americans would never think this was sport ! Ha ! Enough of these acts and rodeos ..enough of aquarium shows and circus races alike !Haven’t we enough knowledge to evolve ? These are just horrors and need to end!

  9. Selah says:

    The fact that this savagery is happening without a second thought is sad and shows humanity has not evolved much.. It’s time for a change, if you want to be evil, sadistic and cruel please feel free to make use of yourself for your practises. Leave all other life to live in peace without torture because your incapable of having feelings

  10. Hannah Marzec says:

    stop it, stop it, stop it!!!

  11. Karen Blanchard says:

    Need to sign petition to stop atrocious cruelty asap!!!

  12. jane livingston says:

    This is inhumane

  13. stefania says:

    Please stop respect the animals

  14. barb russo says:

    Torture, abuse, mistreatment of animals for entertainment should not be tolerated!!! It needs to stop.

  15. lina Nicolia says:

    Such cruelty is what keeps us, humans, in a dark place. We are creating a terrible future for ourselves. The animals should never be tortured or abused. It is NOT why they were put on the planet. They were put there as a test of our compassion and it shows, we have NONE and we will pay for that mistake.

  16. Lesley says:

    Please stop,this cruelty

  17. mary ann kirchoff says:

    Proverbs 12:10 ESV

    Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
    Be kind to your animals. God love them, too.

  18. Let’s send there kids out there and rope them that will change their perspective it’s horrible what people do …. so stupid and ignorant I hope it’s a damaging law suit and the rodeo thinks twice about what is allowed and the we need to hold the Ropers them selves a countable as well the cattle shouldn’t have to endure this kind of abuse

  19. Esther Garcia says:

    Stop animal cruelty please

  20. Allison Clark says:

    It’s horrific that these types of injustices towards animals exist, but we must do everything we can to stop it. Please put an end to this!

  21. Tina Geronimi says:

    Any one allowing this or participating is this horrific act needs to be arrested and made to do jail time and pay for the care of the animals hurt in any way. This is NO JOKE living beings are being Brutalized what the hell is wrong with anyone that witnessed this or was involved in any way. The Creator is always watching you will pay a price.

  22. Linda Ihlein says:

    I am so horrified and deeply disturbed by this cruelty. Put an end to animal exploitation in all forms. Stop the insanity.

  23. Kathryn Trevino Steury says:

    Is this Mexico? I mean, really? I thought we had at least a little more compassion rather than drawn and quartered.

  24. Mary says:

    I hope the Judge fines them to pieces and closes down this terrible rodeo! Sorry to say this, but rodeos are just a shame!

  25. Sheila Orff says:

    I cant even watch it or i will be so upset..i hate animal abuse of any kind….licenses should be taken away and any entertainment with animals that is cruel should be shut down..there is no need for this crap!!!!!!

  26. Ledbetter says:

    Horrific!! this is wrong,wrong!! How can you not see the pain of this poor cattle dribbling

  27. Fager says:

    For such a religious group it’s reprehensible to think that having “domain” (which means to take care of, not dominate over as most think)over the animals justifies their suffering. Worse yet, for those that are educated to see no harm in this. Animals feel pain, fear, loneliness and contentment as we do. Our compassions lead our lives; therefore I’d have to say I wouldn’t want to meet a single person in that audience in a dark alley!!

    Sad to see that these beings are part of my race….

  28. Kamini m says:

    This must stop

  29. Kamini m says:

    Stop this barbaric activity

  30. Debra Zacek says:

    Just seeing the picture feel sick. How can you torture animals this way, and think it’s ok? It’s wrong and more people than ever are against it!STOP the cruelty!

  31. kim hiney says:

    The words to the song at the very end “it’s ok to hurt, it’s ok to cry…” lets pull the necks and legs apart in a swift pull on them cowboys. them dumb fucks. they will someday feel the same pain they inflicted on those calves or at least I hope so. KARMA.

  32. denise doyle says:

    How are we not evolved past rodeo’s yet? These poor animals, and baby animals at that, have no one protecting them. NO ONE!

  33. Vili Kalinova kishkilova says:

    Please stop those horrible actions.

  34. Juan Marin says:


  35. Please stop those horrible actions. Peace for animals

  36. Eric Mills says:

    The state law alluded to is Penal Code 596.7, enacted in 2000. The legislation was carried by Senator Don Perata (D-Oakland), and sponsored by ACTION FOR ANIMALS.

    HOW YOU CAN HELP. The new California legislative session begins on January 5, 2015. Write to your Senators and Assemblymembers urging them to introduce bills to help stop these cruelties. ALL LEGISLATORS MAY BE WRITTEN C/O THE STATE CAPITOL, SACRAMENTO, CA 95814.

    1. Amend 596.7 so as to require either an on-site veterinarian OR an on-site Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), with a licensed vet on-call at EVERY California rodeo and charreada (Mexican-style rodeo). The rule should be, “No vet, no rodeo.”

    2. Outlaw the brutal “steer tailing” event (standard at the charreada).

    Eric Mills, coordinator
    email –

  37. Jerie says:

    I fail to see how this is entertaining! It is cruel and inhumane. On top of being terrified these poor things are brutalized. It needs to stop.

  38. Auger says:

    abominable ignorant people

  39. Sandra Dunn says:

    They need to stop hurting the animals

  40. Sandra Kiser says:

    no vet, no rodeo!! It’s cruel and brutal

  41. Sandra Kiser says:

    No vet, no rodeo

  42. EVA says:

    devils….have no heart conscience will get your punishment soon!

  43. Ann Jardmark says:


  44. Ann Jardmark says:

    Never ever hurt animals

  45. sharon chang says:

    such an archaic world that animal abusers can still enjoy the rodeo!i hope all rodeo participants break their necks!yes,that’s what i said!mercy for the animals,man can sink or swim!

  46. Fatma kamel says:

    Please stop this mistreatment to animals!

  47. Angie Bell says:

    The fact that they are not reporting those injuries, that they are hiding them, shows that they know what they doing is wrong!! Why else would they hide anything? You know the saying
    “If you have to hide it, you know it’s wrong”
    Not only is this wrong, it’s horrid, it’abuse, it’s sick! How can this make anyone feel like they “accomplished” something when it ends up hurting an innocent animal? How does this make anyone a “winner” of anything? Just another sad example of human behavior….Disgusting!

  48. Caroline Matilde Kristensen says:

    Strange way to treat animals.

  49. What’s wrong with this man!!! So speechless after seen this barbarian act :(

  50. Monika Shead says:

    This is disgusting and anyone who enjoys this should be locked up and tortured.
    Please stop this practice. PLEASE.

  51. Hannah Marzec says:

    disgusting low lives!

  52. cornelia wirth says:

    all atrocities against animals must stop

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