Leading animal behaviorist calls for ban on rodeos after tragic horse death at New Jersey rodeo

Video Released Proving Horse was Electro-shocked 25 Seconds Before He Began to Die

SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness Logo. Source image.


New Jersey – Award-winning animal behavior expert and author, Marc Bekoff called for a ban on using horses in rodeos for “entertainment” on July 8, 2013 in an article posted in Psychology Today.

Bekoff called for the ban after viewing video posted by SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness depicting 9-year old horse, Duke convulsing in the arena after being electrically shocked out of the bucking chute. Duke subsequently died. The video of Duke’s death has gone viral and has already been viewed more than 100,000 times online.

Bekoff also called out the announcer at the rodeo for his “heartless” and “sickening” commentary telling the audience that horses do suffer injuries and equating them to family members.

In the article, Bekoff goes on to say, “We also consider dogs to be family members and no one I know, and I’d like to think no one at all, would ever allow a dog to be treated in such a reprehensible way for ‘entertainment’. And horses do not suffer less than our ‘best friends’.” The full article can be read here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201307/horse-shocked-and-dies-new-jersey-rodeo-time-ban-them

Marc Bekoff. Google image.
Marc Bekoff. Google image.

Marc Bekoff is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has won many awards for his scientific work including the Examplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society and Guggenheim Fellowship.

Bekoff co-founded Ethologists for Ethical Treatment of Animals with Jane Goodall and has published 22 books and over 500 essays including The Emotional Lives of Animals, The Ten Trusts (with Jane Goodall), The Animal Manifesto, Animals Matter, The Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships, The Case For Compassionate Conservation, and Jasper’s Story: Saving Moon Bears (with Jill Robinson).

In response to the outrage over the death of Duke, Grant Harris, owner of the Cowtown rodeo, has claimed that Duke was not electro-shocked. To counter this, SHARK has released a new detailed video of Duke being electro-shocked.

“Harris knows how bad this is and his only recourse has been to try to cover up what happened,” states SHARK investigator Stuart Chaifetz. “This video goes frame by frame to show the brutal and cruel treatment Duke received before he finally died. The reality is that if Duke had not been in the rodeo that night, he would still be alive today.”

The new detailed video can be viewed here:

For more info on rodeo cruelty please visit: http://www.rodeocruelty.com

7 thoughts on “Leading animal behaviorist calls for ban on rodeos after tragic horse death at New Jersey rodeo”

  1. when duke fell the one guy was putting some kind of device on him was that a hand taser? I can’t really tell, I even in my limited knowledge can see the horse was cavulsing, his hind legs were showing signs of death, seen that in animals that are killed by captive bolts, or hit on the head with a large hammer, poor horse, I am not fond of rodeos, personally I have never seen stuff like that when at rodeos of course I have only been to a few in my childhood but never as an adult.


  2. I cannot watch the video, for images live within my heart for months and I cannot get them out of my head or heart.
    Living within five miles of the rodeo, my town is abuzz over this injustice. I am sickened by the allegations. As an avid horse lover and owner of Raise Your Dreams Farm, I cannot stand the abuse of these great animals.
    I know that many people will never attend that rodeo because of what happened- hopefully it will hit them in their purse and they will reconsider their form of entertainment.


  3. I cannot even begin to describe how this affects me. All I can think to say is, thank goodness for all of the GOOD people on the planet who “get it” that we are hurting our fellow creatures when we do any animal harm. ALL creatures, great and small…


  4. Disgusting. NO real cowboys here, just menacing jerks who I guess feel that tying a rope tight around an animals genitals is NOT enough to make him buck. 25 times electrocution is abominable and should be embarrassing. And what about the jerk off who is pulling the horse by his tail/spinal column? Unless he was already dead at that point. These humans are not human, they are barbaric idiots. And will state clearly here that ANYONE in the crowd as a spectator or otherwise who was not nauseated by this gross display of cruelty and did not get up and LEAVE immediately / while demanding their money back is just as GUILTY as the pricks with the death stick. Feeling sorry that the loser on this horses back who didn’t get landed upon b/c he knew exactly what was happening in that shoot and let it proceed. We are supposed to be wise, to allow this kind of insane and greedy cruelty for the sake of “fun” or entertainment makes anyone present who didn’t stop it or take action against a big part of the problem. Do you think this is the first horse that has been electrocuted by coward fake cowboys – think again, it may be the first on caught on tape…but people that are capable of this behavior live on it. I do feel bad for the kid, who seemed shocked – but its only valuable if he becomes a voice to END this for good! WE are judged in this life by how we treat our young, our elders and the animals! Remember that.


  5. A horrible thing that should never happen to such a beautiful animal. I also want to say the young man in the grey with no hat has a GOOD heart . you can see the sincere look in his face he really wants to help the horse. I hope for him that he will start to question things and some day make a difference in the world when it comes to animals. Its there he just has to trust it and not listen to others in the rodeo world.


  6. Has rodeo revenue fallen off so badly? Does this type of treatment bring in more money that rodeos past? Because, while I could almost see the ‘logic’ in that – an application of cruelty to up the income – what may ultimately bring rodeo to it’s knees and destroy it forever is exactly what you see in this video.

    Hurting these animals serves no useful purpose; rodeo is no longer a competition between equals – man and beast – as it was in the past. I seriously doubt what serves as a ‘cowboy’ in modern rodeo could EVER hope to compete in what rodeo was. Proof being the lengths these asshats will go to in the efforts to hurt these animals, and the criminality employed to hide it from prying eyes.

    A victory achieved through subterfuge is NOT A VICTORY AT ALL. Why is that so difficult to understand?


  7. I have seen this before and seeing it again the tears still came…. Why do people still continue to lie when the evidence is right there for all to see?? How stupid and ignorant is that, it makes it worse is what it does if indeed it could be worse that what it is… That poor horse I feel so wicked bad right in my gut…. Just awful, what kind of entertainment is THAT?? I hope to god someone pays for this since everyone who does anything to harm horses seem to just get a slap on their wrist if that..??? This needs to stop NOW and I mean RIGHT NOW………….


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