Animal rights activists gathered outside of Matthew Knight Arena to protest the Professional Bull Riders Kubota Emerald Chute Out event on Saturday evening.
Animal Compassion Eugene leader Brent Ratkovich said the group was protesting cruel treatment of the bulls and views the event as animal abuse and not entertainment.
“We just feel that these animals do not have a choice in what they’re doing. The riders are clearly able to make the choice whether they want to put themselves in danger or not. These bulls do not have a choice,” Ratkovich said.
ACE was formed last year in Eugene, Ratkovich said. He came out to the rodeo two years ago and felt someone needed to make a stand.
“I just thought, you know, I really need to start something so that we can have some voice for the animals here,” Ratkovich said.
Gordon Kelley, an ACE member, said that this was his first time attending an ACE event.
“It’s a really terrifying and painful event for the bulls and that’s not okay. That’s totally animal abuse,”” Kelly said.
He said the people who buy these tickets are paying to watch the animals suffer. “There’s a lack of compassion there,” he said..
On PBR’s website, there is a page dedicated to animal welfare and the treatment of their bulls.
According to the page, PBR prohibits the use of cattle prods in the arena and has a no tolerance policy for mistreatment of the bulls.