York Revolution Nixes Cruel ‘Cowboy Monkey Rodeo’ Plans After Protests

PETA and Primatologists Agree: Strapping Monkeys to Dogs’ Backs, Terrorizing Animals in Seventh-Inning Stunts Constitute Animal Abuse

For Immediate Release:
April 26, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

York, Pa.

Following a deluge of letters from PETA members and supporters and a protest led by the director of The Humane Society of Southern Maryland and York Pennsylvania, Jane Heller, the York Revolution baseball team confirmed on April 20 that it will not be hosting a “cowboy monkey rodeo” during its upcoming season, which starts on Friday. A York Revolution spokesperson told PETA that the team has no plans to host the act—which straps terrified capuchin monkeys to dogs who chase sheep around a baseball field—again in the future.

The “rodeo” exhibitor, Tim Lepard of Wild Thang Productions, has been cited repeatedly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act. His violations include keeping monkeys in unsanitary conditions, failing to provide adequate shelter and safety barriers, and repeatedly being unavailable for animal-welfare inspections.

“When the monkeys used in these chaotic rodeo-style stunts aren’t being violently jerked around in front of a screaming crowd, they’re confined to cages and denied everything that’s natural and important to them,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on baseball teams across the country to follow the Rev’s compassionate example and ditch these cruel shows in favor of humane, animal-free entertainment.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that monkeys used for “rodeos” are vulnerable to neck injuries, such as whiplash, which can easily occur when they’re subjected to repetitive high-speed accelerations on the backs of dogs, who run at speeds of up to 30 mph. The dogs may also inadvertently run the monkeys into hard objects, such as walls, fences, and poles.

In addition to the York Revolution’s decision not to host the cruel event, such acts have fallen out of favor with Minor League Baseball, whose president spoke out against them in a statement last summer.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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