Amid Protests, a Bull-Riding Event Is Set to Take Place in Downtown Los Angeles.
The Professional Bull Riders tour is returning to downtown Los Angeles this weekend, but not without opposition from animal rights activists who claim the events are cruel to animals. The city council has proposed an ordinance that would ban the use of certain rodeo tools, such as electric prods, shocking devices, flank or bucking straps, wire tiedowns, sharpened or fixed spurs, and rowels from rodeos or similar events. The proposed ban was modeled after a 1992 ordinance in Pittsburgh, which has been enforced successfully for 30 years.
The proposed ordinance was passed by a council committee in December 2021, but a final vote has not yet been scheduled. Animal advocacy groups have been lobbying for the ban to be approved, including PETA, In Defense of Animals, and Compassion Works International. Some of these groups are planning to hold demonstrations outside the Crypto.com Arena during this weekend's PBR events.
Pasadena, Irvine, Laguna Woods, and Chino Hills have already banned rodeos, while other cities and counties have passed more narrow prohibitions on specific rodeo activities without banning the events altogether. Rodeos are also banned in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Vancouver, Canada.
PBR events focus on bull riding and do not include other traditional rodeo events. The organization's Unleash the Beast tour, which features "the world's Top 30 bull riders going head-to-head against the fiercest bucking bulls on the planet," will take place at the Crypto.com Arena this weekend.
Sean Gleason, CEO and commissioner of Professional Bull Riders Inc., opposes the proposed ordinance and has called it "unnecessary legislation" that would cancel events that benefit the local community. He argues that PBR has many rules in place to ensure its animals are treated well and has invited L.A. City Council members to come to the arena to learn about the animals' care.
Overall, the proposed ban on rodeo tools is still pending a final City Council vote. While animal advocacy groups continue to push for its approval, PBR events like this weekend's tour stop in Los Angeles are still taking place.