The California Rodeo Salinas is being accused of animal abuse in disturbing video appearing to show dogs taking quick bites at bulls in the middle of the arena. Animal activist group, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, or SHARK, released the video this month filmed on July 19 following a bullfighting event on the last day of the rodeo.
“Repeatedly you see the dogs going for the bulls face, in some cases the bulls legs, and in one case, you see a bull with a bloody tongue,” SHARK’s President and Founder Steve Hindi told KION.
Hindi witnessed the incident and calls it a cruel act.
“Bull-baiting, which is basically what this is, is illegal. It’s been illegal for a very long time,” Hindi said. “It was certainly cruel for the bulls and it was potentially deadly for the dogs.”
The Salinas Rodeo denied claims of bull-baiting and said the video just shows the dogs herding livestock.
In a statement to KION, Salinas Rodeo Marketing Manager Mandy Linquist said, “no laws or regulations were violated by the use of dogs to herd fighting bulls out of the arena during the California Rodeo Salinas July 18-21, 2019.”
But Hindi said the evidence is in the video.
“You look at the video footage and you see a number of dogs that are continuously going after the bulls,” Hindi said.
Linquist says the Rodeo uses dogs to herd in the bulls because fighting bulls are “bred to act aggressively toward humans so they are dangerous and difficult to herd on foot or horseback.”
SHARK is now calling on Governor Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate.
According to the Monterey County SPCA, this case is currently under investigation. In a tweet, they said SPCA officers attend the event to ensure the Rodeo stays within legal guidelines.
The Rodeo writes that they follow all rules and laws.