To the Editor:
Though "steer roping" (aka "busting," "jerking," or "tripping") is sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), the event is seen in only 10 states, all in the West: Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas.
Rhode Island outlawed both steer roping and tie-down calf roping in 1999. Others should follow suit.
Steer roping (not to be confused with team roping) involves a mounted cowboy roping the head of a running steer, throwing the rope over the steer's right haunch, then jerking the hapless animal 180 degrees, with the intent of stunning the steer, so that the cowboy can dismount and tie three legs. (See the many YouTube videos.)
Many stock contractors and rodeo fans decry steer roping due to its inherent brutality. Injuries and deaths are routine. Contact your state representatives, urging them to author legislation to outlaw this blatant cruelty.
coordinator, Action for Animals, Oakland, California