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Animal Welfare Groups Urge Jefferson County, Colo. to Shut Down Inhumane Rodeo Event

‘Steer tailing’ has caused severe injuries to cattle; criminal animal cruelty investigation is pending

Update: Later on Friday, Aug. 6, it was announced that the steer tailing portion of this event would be canceled.

The Humane Society of the United States, the Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies and the Dumb Friends League are urging Jefferson County, Colo. officials to cancel the Coleadero Rodeo scheduled for Sunday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, in light of an ongoing criminal investigation into alleged animal abuse.

"Jefferson County officials should immediately cancel the Coleadero Rodeo, due to the inherent cruelty of this event and because several animals were seriously injured and two were euthanized as a result of the last event," said Holly Tarry, Colorado state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "With an ongoing cruelty investigation into the serious injuries caused to steers — such as broken bones, tails ripped off, and skin pulled from their tails — county officials should do the right thing and ensure no more animals are subjected to such abuse."

The rodeo includes the inhumane practice known as "steer tailing." In this event, participants on horseback grab steers (castrated male cattle) by the tail and attempt to spin them to the ground.

The Jefferson County's Sheriff's Office has charged the rodeo organizers with several counts of animal cruelty.  According to investigators, last month's Coleadero Rodeo event led to serious injuries to steers, including severed tails and broken bones. Two steers were reportedly injured so badly that they were euthanized after the event.

The Sheriff's Office has also asked county officials to cancel the Coleadero rodeo, and news reports have quoted Jefferson County Commission Chairwoman Kathy Hartman expressing her opposition to allowing the rodeo to proceed.



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