Animal rights activists in New York have staged four protests at the Manhattan home of Madison Square Garden president Andrew Lustgarten, demanding that he cancel a rodeo scheduled for June 2020. The ongoing protests are being organized by Animal Cruelty Exposure Fund (ACEF) and NYCLASS, animal rights organizations based in New York.
During the protest, Janet Enoch, Investigator of Showing Animals Kindness & Respect (SHARK), an organization that has been exposing rodeo cruelty for three decades, told bystanders why the rodeo is cruel: “Rodeos shock the animals to make them buck and appear wild. Rodeo contestants rake horses and bulls with spurs causing internal hemorrhaging. Rodeos use the buck strap which causes abdominal pain. In an effort to get the buck strap off, horses sometimes crash into walls often causing injury or death. Animals should not be tortured for human entertainment.”
Agitated by the ongoing protests, Mr. Lustgarten’s neighbors are lashing out at the participants. On the evening of December 8th, a woman wearing pajamas exited a nearby apartment building and angrily confronted protesters before attempting to enter Mr. Lustgarten’s building to complain to his security team.
For the past several years, ACEF has staged protests at the annual Professional Bull Riders’ event at Madison Square Garden, but the organization decided to move the protests to Mr. Lustgarten’s residence when it learned that MSG would also be hosting the rodeo.
“Calf roping, steer wrestling, and other rodeo events are acts of extreme violence masquerading as entertainment,” said Nora Constance Marino, the President of ACEF. “Rodeos are nothing more than horrific acts of violence towards defenseless terrified animals, many of whom are mere babies torn from their mothers.”
As part of its ongoing effort to compel MSG to cancel the rodeo, ACEF launched a petition with Change.org.
Both ACEF and NYCLASS have vowed to continue protesting Mr. Lustgarten until he cancels the rodeo.