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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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LGBTs Gather Near San Francisco to Torment Animals in Gay Rodeo

September 11, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

At the Gay Rodeo near San Francisco this weekend, hundreds of LGBTs will applaud and cheer as their gay brothers and sisters wrestle terrified cows to the ground and then twist their necks in an event called “chute dogging.”

In a statement to San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter, The International Gay Rodeo Association defends chute dogging, bucking, goat dressing and other abusive events that celebrate the “traditional western lifestyle” by saying, “The animals of gay rodeo are well cared for and loved.”

Andrew Zollman of LBGT Compassion, a San Francisco-based group that protests the rodeo, compares the abuse of these animals to anti-gay bullying: “Instead of becoming oppressors and abusers of others who are also different and powerless, we should show compassion and empathy for them. The least we can do for farm animals is to not subject them to additional suffering and torment for the gratuitous purpose of our own entertainment.”

Your Turn

1. Learn more about rodeo cruelty at LGBT Compassion

2. Submit a letter to the Bay Area Reporter (news@ebar.com) expressing your point of view. Write “letter to the editor” in the subject line, and include an address and phone number.

3. Post a comment on the Facebook wall and/or email the International Gay Rodeo Association: askigra@igra.com


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Victory: Rodeo Cancels Animal Chasing Event After Protests

August 18, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

The Bluffdale rodeo in Utah has cancelled its Barnyard Bonanza in which “little cowboys and cowgirls” chase chickens, kittens, goats, rabbits and other small animals. According to advertisements for the event, “Whatever you catch, you get to take home.” On Facebook, the rodeo chairwoman posted a request for unwanted pets to be donated to the event. Animal rights activists, who “were aghast that small animals that had been pets would find themselves in this terrifying environment,” complained loudly enough that the organizers decided to cancel the animal chasing event and distribute stuffed animals to the children instead.

Cancelled rodeo

Your Turn

The rodeo advertisement should have read: “Whoever you catch, you get to take home” instead of “Whatever you catch.”  Of course, the rodeo should have never been scheduled in the first place because chasing terrified farm animals and companion animals for sport is barbaric, as is teaching children that this type of activity is acceptable. Learn more about rodeo cruelty and see how you can help stop them.


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