I would like to make you aware of an ever growing problem of animal abuse that I feel people should know about. This horrific cruelty is called Donkey Roping and some less educated consider it a “sport”.
Yes, instead of paying the money for a calf to rope some cowboys are now going to auctions where they can buy a donkey for $5.00 - $10.00 of less and using it for roping. Why does this bother me and literally hundreds of other people?
To quote from an article about a roping competition held in Minerals Wells, TX.
“Donkeys are work and friend animals and just aren’t made for roping. They can’t handle it physically or emotionally,” said Bruner. “The physical makeup of a donkey, or any equine, is that their necks are long, unlike steers, which have an esophagus placed higher and deeper in the muscles of their short necks. A donkey’s esophagus can be crushed by a rope because of its placement and exposure.”
“Also, the donkey’s hide is not thick enough. Rope burns are not good for any sport, whether its cattle or equines. They wrap steer’s horns to protect them, but did they wrap anything on the donkeys?”
“Let’s ask the people roping last weekend to send their good roping horse out of the chute and chase it down and choke it.”
Bruner said that donkeys are not built to have their hind legs roped, as they are in team roping events. “Their stifle joints [similar to a person’s knee] cannot handle that type of tripping. That’s why they outlawed horse tripping.”
Also from that same article: “When the chute opened, many donkeys stood still at the chute, unwilling to run until pressured. When they ran and were roped around the neck, many tucked their back ends, apparently evading having their legs roped. Once a run was over, cowboys tried to get the donkeys into a catch pen, made with a narrow opening and low bar for cattle.”
“One thing I saw was a metal bar that [the donkeys] had to step over to get into the holding pen. A donkey still had a rope around its neck, but he didn’t want to step over the bar,” said Hargle. “A rider body-slammed the donkey’s hind end with his horse’s shoulder and the donkey fell to its knees over the bar.”
“I saw another donkey being jerked by the neck after being roped and I saw another one fall down at the end of the rope,” she added. “I was kind of appalled … [and] thought it was kind of cruel. I felt sorry for the donkeys especially when the ropers went after the hind feet.”
This is a serious problem in TX but I also know from my farrier (and team roper) that there was a guy locally that was using a donkey for roping.
I know that it is a more widespread problem than any of us know because I ran a YouTube search for donkey roping and discovered to my horror about 5 pages of videos. Like these:
Also doing a google search will bring up a good number of articles and public out cries about donkey roping and NUMEROUS PETITIONS to stop ALL donkey roping.
Donkey breeders and lovers found out about this completion enough ahead of time to stop it.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Dear Van Horn Chamber of Commerce, how dare you?
How dare you "proudly present" the World Championship Donkey Roping?
Kris at The Dancing Donkey brought this event to my attention, and my blood is still boiling. As Kris summarized, "Donkeys do not handle this kind of abuse well at all, especially when it is repeated over and over and over again. Unlike calves, who are never roped more than a few times because they are too valuable to damage, donkeys in Texas have no monetary value. Because of this, these donkeys are roped over and over again until they either shut down completely from terror and trauma or are too maimed to continue."
The point is, donkey roping is barbaric and has no place in civilized society, or uncivilized society for that matter. It's just plain wrong. And if you don't believe me, believe Ghandi, who told us, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
I don't ask you for much here at this blog, but today I'm asking you for this: please send an e-mail to the Van Horn, Texas, Chamber of Commerce, asking them to eliminate the World Championship Donkey Roping from their June 23 Frontier Days event. Their contact information is:
P.O. Box 762
Van Horn, Texas 79855
(432) 283-2043, Monday - Friday
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
This is a link to the CNN report about the event and the outrage from the public tells that stopped it.
This is a link to Crystal Ward’s 2008 article condemning RFDTV for airing donkey roping. She has been an out spoken champion to stop this abuse from the beginning.
This is an important link from the country’s largest donkey rescue organization:
Donkey roping is an extremely cruel "sport" where the donkey is shocked with a cattle prod until he tries to run away. Once in motion two people on horseback run the donkey down, one throwing a rope around its neck, the other around its rear legs. Once roped the donkey is then stretched between the two horses. Broken bones and death are all too common during these events.
This petition was created to stop a ‘world championship donkey roping’ event in Van Horn Texas at the Frontiers Days on June 23-24, 2012.
It should be noted that the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association does NOT condone donkey roping. This is not and never has been an officially sanctioned event. It is an event created by some for money making purposes. Donkeys in Texas can be bought for as low as $5.00 whereas cattle/calves are very expensive. Calves are generally used only once or twice so as not to damage them. Donkeys are used over and over compounding the damage done to their bodies and minds.
Donkeys are equine, like horses, their physical makeup – anatomy, is not like a cow. Their joints articulate differently. They have a long cervical spine (neck) easily broken when being roped and stretched between two horses who weigh 3-6 times as much as a donkey. Roping or lassoing is a fine art and has to be performed in a particular manner having parts of the rope land in correct locations ON CATTLE. These specific locations on a cow are different that on a donkey or don’t exist at all.
Death, broken necks, legs and backs are common in donkey roping. Their tracheas (windpipes) are exposed, not buried deeply in the neck structure as are cows, so they are crushed and they suffocate. They can’t eat for days because their throats are swollen. Their legs are delicate and easily broken. Their hides (skins) are not thick like cattle so the ropes cause burns, abrasions, blisters.
For those that survive this physical torture they are guaranteed to suffer from psychological issues. They ‘shut down’ mentally, display severe distrust issues. Their minds and hearts are naturally trusting and they desire to be with humans. The behavior of these men is a betrayal; the donkeys don’t know how to differentiate between these torturers and the loving rescuers/caregivers. It can take years and sometimes never for them to trust another human. They often segregate themselves from other donkeys by hiding in corners of their pastures or stalls, not being able to socialize with their own kind.
These donkey roping events occur all over Texas, not just in Van Horn. They also occur in some other ‘cowboy-minded’ states but not at the same frequency as they do in Texas.
The ultimate goal will be to get legislation passed that makes donkey roping event illegal and then to make certain that law in enforced. There is a Tx Statue 42.09 cruelty to livestock animal that should cover this but the law needs to specific like with ‘horse-tripping’. These events are often help in small communities where the local Sheriff is everybody’s friend, maybe even partakes in the event, and therefore does NOTHING to enforce 42.09.
If you have ever known a donkey, it will come as no surprise the level of cruelty involved with prodding and stretching such docile equines.Much to my surprise, the story blew around the internet like wildfire… People started signing petitions (drawn up by very gifted and tenacious individuals) and many of you emailed the local paper, wrote to the city council, bombarded the lawmakers with discrepancies – basically, you guys fired tactful but forceful napalm all over Van Horn, TX.
And, right now, I’m hearing early reports that the even was cancelled!
I’m going to show you exactly what was sent to me so that we all are on the same page… This isn’t total confirmation, but it looks good.
The flyer that started it all…
FIRST, TWO OF THE LOVELY LETTERS written by members of
Equi-Army-No Days Off who appear to be quite a force. They rallied their troops and really gave it their all to suffocate the bad behavior via education. They did a great job and I think they may be one of the entities that made a huge dent in the effort. Please join their army if this letter moves you…
Dear Ms. Golden,
I write to respectfully request that the Van Horn Chamber of Commerce’s upcoming event featuring donkey roping be cancelled and that no more of these events be scheduled in the future.
I feel very strongly that the “sport” of donkey roping is cruel and abusive. In our state of Alabama, there are laws prohibiting neglect and cruelty to animals. I am assuming that Texas also has such laws on their books. Donkey roping causes needless and horrific suffering to innocent creatures who are docile and must be prodded to run from the much larger men on horses and then must endure horrific torture of being roped and “stretched” during which donkeys are terrified and are physically abused sometimes breaking bones and leaving scars on their bodies and minds, if they survive. This behavior is called bullying and teaches children that abusive bullying is acceptable when adults are laughing, appearing to enjoy the behaviors and accepting such behaviors. When children witness such events, the lesson learned is that if you are big and can, it is alright to torment anything smaller and defenseless. If I were a betting woman, I would bet on the good people of Van Horn to come up with much better, family oriented entertainment.
I respectfully ask that you show compassion and be an example of humane behavior that teaches our young folks that empathy for other living creatures is the more acceptable way of behaving. You can set this better example by canceling Van Horn’s planned donkey roping event, and never allowing another donkey roping event in the future.
Equi-Army-No Days Off
face book: equi-army-ndo
Dear Ms. Malafronte,
Thank you so much for taking the high road and not going forward with the donkey roping event. I am sure the people of Van Horn have many ways to celebrate Texas without harming animals who helped build our country.
Just today there was an article published about a little donkey who saved an entire herd in the Colorado fire. The are brave little animals, but they are no match for men on horseback who try to run them down.
I knew the spirit of Texas would shine through.
Thank you again so much.
Woodway (Waco), TX – V. Pres., Equi-Army-ndo
SECOND, I received this email which appears to be from the City Administrator of the Town of Van Horn, TX
On Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 2:31 PM, Fran Malafronte <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
EVENT CANCELLED BY THE TOWN.
Preparing for the Future with respect for the Past.
Town of Van Horn
THIRD, I received this email from another reader who forwarded a note she received:
From THE LOVE OF DONKEYS…”The sheriff’s office in Culbertson County, Texas, at 12:50 p.m. Mountain time today confirmed the donkey roping event on June 23 has been cancelled because of public input and the number of complaints received.”
I’m not sure what is really happening yet.
However, in any event, now would be a great time for everyone to be just as strong in their letter writing to THANK the city of Van Horn for what they did.
I think it would make great sense to bombard the city, once again, with letters/emails and outpouring of support for a job well done.
Larry Simpson, editor at The Van Horn Advocate:
Town of Van Horn : email@example.com
WHAT ABOUT THE DONKEYS?
It appears that the forces behind this drive are now asking the donkey vendor to relinquish his herd of 45 roping donkeys to Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue. PVDR has agreed to care for them.
I, honestly, cannot imagine the donkey vendor giving away his donkeys. I’m sure they would have to be bought… And, it is true, his herd could easily be created again. The cycle would probably continue until this sport is shamed from existence.
However, if the group is successful in acquiring these donks from the vendor, I will create a Bucket Fund to help get them to their new home and Sanctuary at PVDR.
IF THIS IS REALLY TRUE AND THE EVENT IS CANCELLED…
Wow. You all are incredible!!
And for all of you nay-sayers… even if the event has just moved and will rise again… Consider this a victory and let this moment buoy you when you feel so sad about other equine happenings.
We can make a difference ~ and today, I think we did.
You all totally rock! – Norma Jean the Donkey.
From NMDA our national miniature donkey registry:
I feel the problem is one of educating some folks and letting other people know that this is going on. I feel that people in our area would like to know and deserve to know this is going on.
I appreciate you taking the time to read all this and I sincerely hope that you will see the value in writing an article about this abuse.
C & S Dream Donkeys
Oneonta, AL. 35121