Press Release

Salinas Rodeo Hides Animal Injuries in Violation of California Law

Animal Group Documents Animal Suffering, Legal Violations at Salinas Rodeo

For immediate release:


Salinas, Calif. — The California Rodeo Salinas is scheduled to start on July 16, 2015 yet the rodeo refuses to change its illegal practice of hiding injuries to animals. In December 2014, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the animal rights group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) against the rodeo for failing to report animal injuries to the state veterinary medical board, as required under California law. ALDF and SHARK accuse the defendants 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.

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. The rodeo reported only four out of the forty-one injuries to animals documented by SHARK.

“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. “We hope Californians will consider the pain and suffering of these animals and boycott the Rodeo.”

Interview Opportunities:

  • Stephen Wells, Executive Director, Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Matthew Liebman, Senior Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Steve Hindi, Founder, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness
  • Janet Enoch, Member, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness

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