With the annual professional bull riding event held in January 4-6th 2019, people’s attention once again turns on Madison Square Garden where more than 50 bulls and their riders will compete to claim themselves as the best. However, bull riding event is a big-time sport and big business that can lead both the riders or the animal athletes get injured even died that caused by joint separation, fractured sternum, and severe facial laceration during the competition. Yet, it doesn’t reduce people’s enthusiasm to join in the competition and each year, the number of audience keeps increasing.
How They Raise the Animal Athletes?
The way people raise bulls for the Professional Bull Riders event has been changing from time to time. The animals have been bred intensively like racehorses to make them become bucking bulls. It has been done for more than 15 years in order to make the bulls harder to ride. This breeding method involves high-tech reproductive techniques and there are more than 180,000 bulls and cows that have been registered by using a computer to provide the detail information of the breeding techniques conducted to them, say reports.
The primary results hoped to gain from these kinds of breeding techniques is to create bucking bulls that can spin, buck, and kick as hard as they can with a rider on board, and of course, unpredictable. Those that successfully buck by using the reproductive techniques will live longer for the competition. They will be fed carefully and brought to experience noise comes from a rodeo environment and exposed to the lights. It is aimed to help them to reduce their stress levels when it comes the time for them to face the competition. The bulls will be harder to ride and this is the result that the breeders want to achieve. They are expensive and some of them are sold for thousands of dollars. But, what if the techniques applied do not work for the calves? Well, they may end up at the slaughterhouse.
Is It a Bad Treatment for the Animals?
For many years, bull riding has been criticized by activists of animal welfare. However, bull riders have different opinions. They insist that it has been the nature of the bulls to buck while this is the riders’ job to hang on. Jeanette Vaught from California State University, Los Angeles states that she doesn’t find any cruelty in the treatments and techniques conducted to create bucking bulls. She also sees that the bulls will soon become friendly animals once the bucking ends.