Rodeo Focus of Animal Cruelty Investigation Videotape Allegedly Shows Shocking Device Used On Bulls
POSTED: 5:04 p.m. PDT July 17, 2003
UPDATED: 5:55 p.m. PDT July 17, 2003
SAN DIEGO -- Organizers of the Valley Center Rodeo are the focus of a animal cruelty investigation, 10News reported.
The rodeo was held in May and the crime allegedly occurred during the bull riding competition.
Home video apparently reveals a device being used to shock the animals into performing better.
The video was obtained exclusively by 10News and shows a man jabbing at a bull several times in the chute with some sort of electrical device.
"It delivers between five- and six-thousand volts of electricity to the animal," animal rights activist Pat Vinet said.
Vinet is a volunteer for a group called Showing Animals Respect And Kindness (SHARK).
"I feel angry. I feel nothing but contempt for these people," she added.
Vinet said she felt the animals' pain as she videotaped the competition.
"If you take this device and you put it to some piece of metal with paint on it, sparks fly and eats the paint right off the surface. It's painful stuff. It hurts," Vinet said.
Vinet said she has seen similar incidents at six rodeos in Southern California during the last year.
"They do their level best to keep the American public thinking this is just good clean wholesome fun. It's nothing remotely (like) that," she said.
Valley Center Rodeo organizers told 10News that a subcontractor based in Riverside brought in the animals and that person was also responsible for handling the bulls during the event.
Gina Mitchell from the Valley Center Rodeo issued the following statement to 10News.
"They knew nothing about it and as animal lovers, don't condone any type of abuse to animals. They're very sorry and it breaks their heart to think it happened."
The San Diego Humane Society, which is heading the investigation, said even if organizers were not aware that the device was being used, that may not clear them of any wrongdoing.
"The law provides that management is responsible if something like this were to take place," Humane Society spokeswoman Gigi Bacon Theberge said.
She also said it may take a while before any charges are filed in the case, 10News reported.
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