Veterinarian Shares her Thoughts on Cruel “Wild Cow Milking”

Photo: Wild cow milking event in Texas.

This week, we launched a campaign to combat rodeo cruelty in California.

The Rowell Ranch Rodeo in Alameda County is infamous for an incredibly cruel event called “wild cow milking”.  The practice involves chasing down an unhandled and terrified cow on horseback, roping her, forcing her into a headlock position, and milking her before a screaming audience. A cow broke her neck and was killed in this exact event in 2014. We’ve been raising our voices against this cruelty for years.

But for the very first time, there is hope for these animals. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is considering a ban on the wild cow milking event as well as tie-down calf roping, flank straps and spurs in rodeos. We only have until September 20 to make our voices heard. You can take action and share your thoughts with the supervisors by sending an email here!

Featured below is a letter written to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors by Dr. Peggy W Larson, DVM MS JD. Dr. Larson is an experienced large animal veterinarian and has seen firsthand the harm that rodeos inflict on animals. Read her thoughts here:

Animals should not be injured or killed for entertainment and that is what rodeo is. It bears no resemblance to ranching. I grew up on a cattle ranch in North Dakota and spent 8 years as a ranch veterinarian there. My ranch clients did not ride bulls, speed rope calves or make their expensive horses buck. Rodeo is not American “tradition”.    

As a former bareback bronc rider, pathologist and large animal veterinarian, I have both the experience and autopsy proof that rodeo injures and kills animals. Dr. Robert Bay from Colorado autopsied roping calves and found hemorrhages, torn muscles, torn ligaments, damage to the trachea, damage to the throat and damage to the thyroid. These calves never get a chance to heal before they are used again. Meat inspectors processing rodeo animals found broken bones, ruptured internal organs, massive amounts of blood in the abdomen from ruptured blood vessels and damage to the ligamentum nuchae that holds the neck to the rest of the spinal column.

Animals and humans share the same pain and fear centers in the brain. The fear center is the amygdala. The pain centers are the pre-frontal cortex and the hypothalamus. Animals feel pain and fear the same as humans!

As a former criminal lawyer, children that are exposed to and participate in animal abuse often grow up to abuse humans. I have seen children cry at rodeos when the calves are roped and slammed to the ground. It is time for this archaic rodeo “entertainment”  to end.

Peggy W Larson, DVM MS JD

Want to help us do everything in our power to bring this cruelty to an end? Submit your email now and let your thoughts be heard. For greater weight, take a moment to personalize the email. Do you have friends and family who care about animals? Share our campaign far and wide to amplify your impact. Spread the word about this rare opportunity to make a change for animals abused for entertainment!



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Veterinarian Shares her Thoughts on Cruel “Wild Cow Milking”

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