Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Lyon County Near Reno, NV Puts Forth Amendment To Prohibit Certain Acts And Conditions Related To Animals, Especially In Relation To Rodeos

An important move. As stated below, these include, "The additional paragraphs (M-Q) deal with fighting of animals (instigated or baited), injury and overwork, enclosures and restraints, cruel and unusual uses and horse tripping (intentionally trip or fall any equine animal by the legs for entertainment or sport).”

Article:

Prohibited acts regarding animal cruelty proposed to be added to Lyon ordinance

http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080109/FERNLEY01/801090347/1306/BIZ01

KEITH TROUT

RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL

Posted: 1/9/2008
An amendment to Lyon County Code to prohibit certain acts and conditions related to animals was proposed at the Jan. 3 Board of Commissioners meeting.

Commissioner Larry McPherson, who requested the agenda item, proposed the amended ordinance, which adds five paragraphs regarding treatment of animals to Title 7, Chapter 1 (Animals and Animal Services), subchapter 5 (prohibited acts and conditions).

The additional paragraphs (M-Q) deal with fighting of animals (instigated or baited), injury and overwork, enclosures and restraints, cruel and unusual uses and horse tripping (intentionally trip or fall any equine animal by the legs for entertainment or sport).

The proposed ordinance will be advertised and a public hearing will be conducted, likely at the first meeting in February.

Bob Rubis of the Tri-Counties Rodeo Association, which puts on rodeos at the arena at the Dayton Valley Events Center, spoke at the meeting to say the Mexican rodeos conducted at the arena don't involve "horse tripping", which involves roping a horses's hind legs. He said, "We've never done it in the past and we don't plan to in the future."

Commissioner Bob Milz asked about something he'd heard about involving grabbing a cow's tail and flipping it.

Rubis said "steer tailing" is done at the Mexican rodeos sponsored by Tri-Counties at the Dayton Valley Events Center and explained it is done by following a cow along a fence and see who can flip the steer by grabbing its tail in the shortest length. He said money isn't won at these rodeos.

Rubis said some think all rodeos are cruel and added, "If we damage a horse, we lose money," up to $600 per animal. He also added three other arenas in Lyon County have Mexican rodoes, including one in Mason Valley and the steer flipping wasn't more cruel than events at professional rodeos.

McPherson told Rubis the proposed ordinance didn't mention cow flipping.

Commissioner Phyllis Hunewill said the term "target" in paragraph P under cruel and unusual uses could include calf roping or steer wrestling where the steer's head is twisted but she was told by District Attorney Bob Auer this proposal wouldn't include traditional events now conducted at sanctioned rodeos.

Asked who defines cruel and unusual punishment, McPherson said Lyon County Animal Services had reviewed the proposal and would make that determination.

McPherson in a separate interview said he'd been approached by several people about such an ordinance, noting they have them in Clark County and several counties in California, that he hadn't brought up this proposal on his own. McPherson said he was given extensive paperwork including other ordinances and he had given it to the District Attorney's Office, which had written the draft ordinance.

He said among those who spoke to him about it included deputies, with at least one who had been upset by what he had seen at a rodeo in Dayton and word of animal injuries had been a spark and this was something he wasn't aware of before being contacted.

Milz said the county hadn't seen a necessity for such a rule before and just because a deputy thought something was cruel, didn't mean it was so. "What is cruel?"

McPherson, a horseman who has ridden with the Pony Express rides and was a leader in that organization, said the idea was that the ordinance amendment not be too specific and that it "covers a lot of territory."

Eventually Auer halted the discussion and questioning, saying such discussion was what the public hearing was for.

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