Dear Editor, Austin Rodeo CEO Rob Golding thinks he can tell Austinites about their “cultural identity” to make a quick buck. He doesn’t realize Austin loves animals and that we’re done with events that inflict abuse, injury and death on our four-legged friends. The writing’s on the wall, Rob: Austin City Council banned cruel devices in circuses, which shut them out, and you’re not wanted either. Many rodeos electrocute the animals in the chutes so they exit looking wild. Metal spurs and "bucking straps" cut into animals’ skin causing them to buck in pain. Events such as roping, wrestling, and busting violently jerk, flip, and wrench animals, resulting in injuries, sometimes fatal. Skeptical? Check YouTube for examples. Read statements by State Veterinarians condemning roping and steer busting. Look into the underreporting of injuries, the low bar set for animal protections, and exemptions offered rodeos by the USDA and Animal Welfare Act. When animal protections interfere with reaping a little more profit, guess who loses? You already know. Austin is packed with fun events for all ages. Support local activities that make this city a better, unique place instead of lining the pockets of Rob and his corporate sponsors. Is it weird to keep rodeos out of our city? Maybe. But I think there’s a good slogan about that.
Sincerely, Rocky Payne Action for Animals Austin (AFAA)