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Cockfighters Attack SHARK Investigators, Sending Them to the Hospital with Severe Injuries

January 3, 2021 by Leave a Comment


The News

On Sunday morning, January 3rd, two investigators from the animal rights group SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) investigated a suspected illegal cockfighting operation in rural Lawrence County, OH. They were quickly able to confirm that the location was an active cockfighting pit.

Undercover investigators with the animal rights group SHARK identified an illegal cockfighting operation in Ohio

Soon after they arrived, SHARK President Steve Hindi was violently attacked, suffering multiple head and chest injuries. Another SHARK investigator, who was in a vehicle, was chased by cockfighters who hit his car multiple times and drove him off the road and into a ditch. He survived the attack.

Steve Hindi, founder of the animal rights group SHARK, was attacked by cockfighters on January 3rd, 2020

“These are serious crimes, and SHARK will be aggressively pursuing justice against these violent and disgusting cockfighters,” said SHARK investigator Stu Chaifetz. “We will have much more about this in the near future, but the cockfighters need to know that SHARK will never stop exposing them and their vile cruelty.”

Cockfighters in Ohio ran a SHARK investigator off the road, assaulted him and stole his video equipment

SHARK uses high tech video equipment to document many blood sports, including rodeos, pigeon shoots and cockfighting. During cockfights, which are illegal in all 50 states, roosters who are trained to kill fight each other wearing sharp blades on their legs.

In recent years, SHARK has used drones to film cockfights and farmers who are suspected of breeding roosters for cockfights. In 2019, the group announced a nationwide campaign called Crush Cockfighting to increase exposure of the bloodsport and to draw attention to the law enforcement officials who enable the illegal events.

Please call or write today to report suspected cockfighting operations. You can remain anonymous. tips@sharkonline.org or 630-385-0244.


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Anti-Rodeo Activists Protest at Home of Madison Square Garden President Andrew Lustgarten

December 17, 2019 by Leave a Comment


The News

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.

An angry neighbor attempts to enter Andrew Lustgarten’s building to complain about the protest.

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.

 


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Activists Protest Upcoming Rodeo at Madison Square Garden

August 15, 2019 by Leave a Comment


The News

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.


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Bull Riding Fans Clash with Animal Rights Protesters in New York City

January 31, 2016 by Leave a Comment


The News

It was business as usual at the annual bull riding rodeo in NYC, with patrons greeting protesters with obscene gestures; accusing them of wearing leather shoes; and promising to eat “a juicy steak” after the show.

For the past decade, Professional Bull Riders (PBR) has, as a part of its national tour, staged a three day rodeo at Madison Square Garden in New York City. And, each year, animal rights activists have  protested at the entrance.

Animal rights activists stage three days of protests at the bull riding rodeo at Madison Square Garden

Animal rights activists stage three days of protests (Jan 15 – 17) at the bull riding rodeo at Madison Square Garden

While the majority of bull riding patrons who stopped to engage with the protesters during the three days of protests were hostile and defensive, a few attempted to convince them that the bulls are treated with great care because they earn a living for the riders. Activists in NYC say they have heard that before, as that is the same argument used by the horse-drawn carriage operators who drive their horses through the congested streets of midtown Manhattan.

Bull riders use weapons to make the animals buck

Bull riders use weapons and drugs to make the animals buck

Your Turn

Learn more about bull riding cruelty from the organization leading the fight to expose it —  SHARK (Showing Animals Respect & Kindness)


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Letters Remind LGBTs that Rodeos are Animal Bullying Events

September 18, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

The Bay Area Reporter, which is San Francisco’s LGBT weekly newspaper, published two of our letters in response to its story about the controversy surrounding gay rodeos. On September 11th, TheirTurn wrote a story about gay rodeos from an animal rights point of view.

gay rodeo

Your Turn

If you feel strongly about certain issues, please submit letters to the editor when a media outlet reports on them. These letters provide us with an opportunity to convey the message points about animal abuse that are so often missing from the stories.


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