Buck the Rodeo!--Existing Ordinances


Pittsburgh — No rodeo or rodeo-related event shall be permitted in which animals are induced or encouraged to perform through any means that will cause physical injury, torment, or suffering. These devices are specifically prohibited at rodeos and rodeo-related events: electric prods or shocking devices, flank or bucking straps, wire tie-downs, and sharpened or fixed spurs or rowels.

An appropriate humane agency shall be notified by the promoter and/or sponsor of any rodeo event not less than 14 days prior to such event.

Humane officers shall be provided access to any and all areas where animals may go—specifically pens, chutes, and injury pens.

The presence of a licensed veterinarian specializing in either equine or bovine veterinary medicine shall be required during the entirety of all rodeos and rodeo-related events.

Fort Wayne, Ind. — No person shall conduct or allow rodeos within the city limits.

Baltimore — The use of any equipment that would/can cause physical pain or injury to the horse is prohibited. Curb bits, twisted wire and snaffles, and spurs are not permitted. The horses shall be treated in a humane manner; they shall not be beaten or prodded to maintain a fast gait in any way that will cause injury to the horse.

Alameda County, Calif. — At a rodeo, a veterinarian, licensed by the state of California, must be in attendance throughout the duration of every event using animals. The veterinarian and any animal control officer or humane officer in attendance shall be allowed access to all areas of the rodeo facility. The veterinarian shall not be a contestant or otherwise participate in any animal events.

The Animal Control Office of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and the Alameda County SPCA shall be notified not less than 14 days in advance of the rodeo, and with such notification a written description of the animal events and a copy of the rules governing the events shall be submitted.

Pasadena, Calif. Wild or exotic animal displays and rodeos for the purpose of amusement and entertainment are prohibited on City-owned properties.

St. Charles, Ill. the use of electric prods is prohibited and a veterinarian must be on call at rodeos.


Rhode Island — A rodeo shall not be conducted or promoted without first having notified in writing the animal control officer of the city or town in which it will take place.

A veterinarian, licensed in Rhode Island, must be present for the entire duration of the rodeo. The veterinarian shall have had experience in the treatment of large animal life for a period of not less than two years. The veterinarian shall have access to the complete site of any activity involving animals to be employed in the event and shall have complete authority over the treatment and use of any animals that become injured in such event. [The veterinarian] shall have the right to declare any animal unfit for use in any such event.

The person in charge of the rodeo event shall be required to be present and available for communication while such event is taking place.

The roping of any calf in any rodeo shall be limited to "breakaway" calf roping, where the calf is released immediately after it is roped without the animal being subjected to a sudden stop or fall.

No person shall participate in any rodeo activity who has been convicted of cruelty to animals while participating in any rodeo.

California (in effect Jan. 1, 2001)—A licensed veterinarian must be on site or on call at all California rodeos, able to arrive within one hour.

Immediate and appropriate treatment of any animal injury is required.

Written reports of animal injuries must be submitted to the California State Veterinary Medical Board within 48 hours of the conclusion of the rodeo.

Presence of a conveyance to humanely remove any injured animals from the arena is required.

The use of electric prods is prohibited on any animal in the holding chute, unless necessary to protect participants/spectators.


Baltimore County, Md. — No person shall beat, cruelly treat, torment, overload, overwork, or otherwise abuse any animal or cause, instigate, or permit any calf-roping or shocking devices that are prohibited at rodeos and similar events except for the purposes of herding or managing livestock.


Maryland (did not pass) — A person may not use an inhumane device at a rodeo. "Inhumane device" means any chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual instrument used to agitate, activate, stimulate, or move an animal through torture, torment, or cruelty. This includes electric prods or other shocking devices, whips, clubs, sharpened spurs, and any form of rope, wire, or strap designed to irritate the sexual organs of an animal.

A licensed veterinarian must be in attendance for the duration of each event that uses an animal. Such veterinarian may not be a contestant in the rodeo.

Hawaii (did not pass) — A person commits the offense of cruelty to rodeo animals if the person: induces or encourages a rodeo animal to perform through the use of any practice or technique or any chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual device that will cause or is likely to cause physical injury, torment, or suffering or uses the devices that are specifically prohibited at all rodeos (electric prods or shocking devices, flank or bucking straps, wire tie-downs, sharpened spurs, and bullwhips).

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