Austin Bold’s Live-Animal Stunt Prompts PETA Action

Soccer Team Urged to Adopt Animal-Free Policy After Cheap Promotional Stunt Offers Free Entry to Fans With Animals in Tow

For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Austin, Texas – After learning that Austin Bold FC is encouraging fans to take live animals, including geese, goats, cows, sheep, horses, and donkeys, with them to the game at Bold Stadium on Wednesday in exchange for free admission, PETA sent an urgent letter today urging Bobby Epstein—owner of the soccer team and chair of the venue—to retract this cruel promotion and to adopt a policy barring all live animals from future events.

“It’s indefensible to subject animals to the confusion and stress of being packed up, hauled to a soccer game, and subjected to rowdy fans and other animals, all to save the cost of a ticket,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Austin Bold to pull the plug on this cheap stunt and to pledge to keep all animals out of the equation in the future.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and the group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Bobby Epstein follows.

April 15, 2019

Bobby Epstein

Owner, Austin Bold FC

Chair, Circuit of the Americas

Dear Mr. Epstein,

I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our nearly 300,000 members and supporters in Texas to urge you to cancel Wednesday’s “Farmer in the Del Valle” promotion immediately and leave live animals out of all events moving forward. While we’re sure that no harm is intended, a soccer stadium is no place for chicks, ducks, geese, goats, cows, pigs, turkeys, sheep, horses, or llamas.

Of course, you know that professional soccer games are intense events. The energy is palpable, and it’s what makes attending them such an enjoyable experience. But the bright lights, screaming fans, and clanging cowbells would be terrifying for animals who can’t possibly understand what’s going on.

This promotion is not only cruel but also reckless, since frightened animals are unpredictable. For example, earlier this year, Uga, the University of Georgia’s bulldog mascot, was nearly trampled by the University of Texas–Austin’s longhorn steer. Using farmed animals during such an event also risks sickening fans because of the presence of serious pathogens, including E. coli and salmonella bacteria. It’s also unreasonable to expect 4-H students to attend to animals in an unfamiliar and chaotic setting.

Even Bold fans are calling this promotion into question on social media. Fans want hat tricks, not senseless gimmicks.

Austin Bold has an opportunity to show its fans that the team cares about animal welfare and public safety. May we please hear that you’ll leave live animals out of the upcoming event and all future ones? Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours truly,

Tracy Reiman

Executive Vice President

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind