Prohibiting harmful practices and devices at rodeos (Los Angeles, CA)

Council File: 20-1575

Proposed Los Angeles ordinance would prohibit the use of harmful practices, techniques, and devices at rodeos or rodeo-related events


March 6, 2023

Work Type




Update: On December 5, 2023, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously in favor of a rodeo ban ordinance to prohibit rodeo events in the city. The city attorney will draft the amended language which will go through review in the Neighborhoods and Community Enrichment Committee before going back to the council for final approval. Read more in the press release.

Rodeos use inhumane practices and painful devices, including electric prods, flank straps, and spurs to encourage aggressive behavior and exaggerated bucking in bulls and horses. As a result, these animals suffer injuries that can include broken backs and legs. In roping events, calves are stopped forcefully by a lasso around their neck while running at full speed, and are slammed to the ground, resulting in punctured lungs, internal organ damage, ripped tendons, torn ligaments, snapped necks, and agonizing deaths.

Los Angeles Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced an ordinance amending Section 53.00 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code to prohibit the use of harmful practices, techniques, and devices at rodeos or rodeo-related events (Council File: 20-1575). The ordinance will:

  • Make unlawful for any person to conduct, operate, or participate in a rodeo at which any animal is induced or encouraged to perform through the use of any practice or technique, or any chemical, mechanical, electrical, manual device, or other similar device or implement, that will cause, or is likely to cause, physical injury, torment, or suffering.
  • Prohibit devices including, but not limited to, electric prods or shocking devices, flank or bucking straps, wire tie-downs, sharpened or fixed spurs or rowels, and lariats or lassos.

Ban Professional Bull Riders from State Owned Venues

Sign the petition urging inhumane events, like Professional Bull Riders traveling events, be banned from state and municipally owned venues.

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The language is modeled after a similar 1992 ban in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, which has been successful with 30 years of enforcement. If passed, Los Angeles would join the California communities of San Francisco, Pasadena, and Napa County which have rodeo bans in place, as well as a handful of other municipalities and states with prohibitions or limited protections for animals used in rodeos.

There are few laws protecting animals forced to perform in rodeos. The federal Animal Welfare Act exempts rodeos from the protections it provides to animals. Some states exempt rodeos from their anti-cruelty statutes, while other states defer to clearly inadequate Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association regulations to judge whether animal cruelty has occurred in rodeos.

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