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For Immediate Release:March 24, 2010
Contact:Desiree Acholla 757-622-7382
Houston, Texas -- Today, PETA sent an urgent letter to Keith Martin, chair of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), urging him to ban the use of painful flank straps after a bucking horse sustained a lumbar fracture and the rider broke his leg Saturday at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The horse was euthanized because of the severity of the injury.
"There is absolutely no excuse for forcing animals to buck to the point that they injure or kill themselves," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "The sole purpose of a flank strap is to inflict pain so that animals will flail wildly to get it off. The time has come to do away with these cruel devices."
For more information about PETA's work to protect animals, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Keith Martin, chair of the PRCA, follows.March 24, 2010
Keith Martin, ChairProfessional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Inc.
Dear Mr. Martin:
PETA recently wrote to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) with concerns about the use of flank straps to provoke and agitate animals into bucking and kicking during rodeo events. With the death of Slugger, a horse who was used in a saddle bronc riding event at the Houston Livestock Show and rodeo this Saturday, we are writing to renew our request for the PRCA to prohibit the use of flank straps.
Slugger was euthanized after reportedly suffering a painful lower lumbar fracture. While his injuries were too severe for him to survive, they could have been prevented were it not for the uncomfortable flank straps. After these straps are tightly cinched around animals' abdomens, the animals twist and contort their bodies in a desperate effort to relieve their discomfort, often leading to injuries similar to Slugger's.
There have been several recent injuries and deaths to animals who have been used in bucking events, including the following:
* Last August at the Carbon County Rodeo in Wyoming, a horse broke her back after being released from the holding chute of a bucking event and was euthanized. * Five days prior, a horse was euthanized after a fall at the Lake County Rodeo in Illinois.* The death of Strawberry Fudge and the incident in which another horse crashed into the standing barrier at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in July of 2009 prompted PETA's last request to end the use of flank straps.
We hope that your organization is not simply paying lip service to those who are concerned about the safety of animals used at PRCA-sanctioned rodeos. The flank strap is a barbaric device that causes pain, distress, and serious injuries. Will you please end the use of flank straps at PRCA events? I look forward to your response.
Sincerely, Desiree AchollaAnimals in Entertainment Specialist
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