PETA to Padres: Cruel Rodeo Doesn’t Belong at Petco Park

For Immediate Release:
November 3, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

San Diego

Disgusted by the announcement that the San Diego Padres will host a rodeo at Petco Park in January, PETA fired off a letter today to Padres Chair Peter Seidler and CEO Erik Greupner pointing out that rodeos normalize animal abuse and urging the organization to cancel the event and commit to never hosting a rodeo in the future.

A calf whose legs have been tied together at a rodeo. Photo: PETA

“Animals in rodeos commonly sustain severe and even fatal injuries, including broken bones, punctured lungs, hemorrhaging, torn ligaments and muscles, and snapped necks, all for cheap thrills,” says PETA Senior Director and San Diego resident Danielle Katz. “PETA is calling on the Padres to recognize the impact that this abuse has on animals and young fans alike and cancel this cruel event.”

During rodeos, bulls are zapped with electric “hot shots” so that they’ll charge out of a chute, calves’ necks are twisted as they’re violently slammed onto the ground, and horses are viciously spurred into bucking. Multiple cities and counties in California have banned or restricted rodeos—including Chino Hills, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Napa County, Pasadena, and San Francisco—and Los Angeles is considering a ban on cruel rodeo tools, including electric prods and sharpened spurs.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Seidler and Greupner follows.

November 3, 2023

Peter Seidler, Chair

Erik Greupner, CEO

San Diego Padres

Dear Messrs. Seidler and Greupner:

I’m writing today from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) because we are shocked and disappointed about the Padres’ decision to host a rodeo—and we have received many messages from the public about this scheduled event. On behalf of PETA and our more than 660,000 members and supporters in California alone, we urge you to cancel this cruel and often deadly spectacle and commit to never hosting a rodeo again.

Rodeos are inherently inhumane, and animal welfare is never a priority in these events. Electric prods, sharpened spurs, and bucking straps are used to irritate, enrage, and cause pain to animals in order to make them “perform.” During these events, animals have often sustained punctured lungs, deep internal organ bruising, hemorrhaging, ripped tendons, torn ligaments and muscles, snapped necks, and broken ribs, backs, or legs. Many have died. Rodeos are nothing more than manipulative displays of human domination over other animals, thinly disguised as entertainment.

The Padres have many young fans who are still learning the difference between right and wrong. Imagine a young visitor who sees a terrified baby calf violently lassoed around the neck. It’s not farfetched to imagine that the child might try to replicate this kind of behavior on their own animal companions at home. By hosting this event, you would be directly responsible for normalizing animal abuse.

It’s remarkably incongruous that Petco Park—sponsored by a company that claims to care about and promote animal welfare—would popularize this cruelty. Please, consider the impact of your decisions on animals and viewers and cancel plans to host a rodeo.Sincerely,

Danielle Katz
Senior Director

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