Dozens of animal rights activists staged a protest at Madison Square Garden (MSG) to demand that the company cancel a rodeo scheduled for June, 2020. The rush hour protest, organized by the advocacy groups Animal Cruelty Exposure Fund (ACEF), NYCLASS and Lion, attracted the attention of thousands of commuters and tourists entering and exiting Penn Station, a railway station located in the same building complex as MSG. TheirTurn spoke to protesters and pedestrians who stopped to learn more.
“New York City hasn’t hosted a rodeo in 30 years” said Nora Constance Marino, the President of ACEF. “How can Madison Square Garden President Andrew Lustgarten allow this iconic venue in one of the world’s most progressive cities to be used for a barbaric event where animals are tortured? NYC has 16 animal protection bills pending right now. MSG is going in the wrong direction, and vast majority of New Yorkers don’t want this animal abuse in our city.”
Edita Birnkrant, Executive Director of NYCLASS, protests Madison Square Garden over its decision to host a rodeo in 2020.
In an interview on NY1 News, MSG defended its decision to host the rodeo, stating, “Rural Media Group and the Cowboy Channel are leaders in the care and well-being of animal performers and we look forward to hosting them next year.”
Madison Square Garden issued a statement to NY1 News defending its decision to host the rodeo
In response, Marino said, “It is remarkable that MSG claims that a rodeo cares about the well-being of animals. Simply observing footage of one completely refutes that notion.”
“Wrestling baby cows to the ground after lassoing their neck is not entertainment; it’s violence,” said Edita Birnkrant, the Executive Director of the animal rights group NYCLASS. “If Lustgarten doesn’t cancel the show, then we will escalate this campaign with the help of NYC’s dedicated army of animal protection advocates.”
The Animal Cruelty Exposure Fund and NYCLASS are demanding that the President of Madison Square Garden, Andrew Lustgarten, cancel the rodeo scheduled to take place in June, 2020
A Change.org petition has garnered over 5,700 signatures.
A 2017 law that banned the use of wild animals in shows does not apply to rodeos, which use calves, horses and other domesticated animals.
Animal rights activists say that tying up, roping, wrestling animals are acts of violence against baby and adult animals.