Bulls left in sun to bake

While attending the silent protest against the bull riding event in Kelowna on July 7, I walked to the enclosure holding the bulls in a corral on the parking tarmac of Prospera Place. 

The bulls were clearly distressed standing in the heat of the sun without any shade or sprinkling of water to relieve their suffering.  

By the time they were taken in about 7 p.m., they had stood in that heat for at least five hours.  

Supporters of bull riding claim the animals love what they do because they were bred for this activity.

They go on to claim that the animals are treated the same as professional athletes and are regarded as part of the cowboy family.  Even fairy tales have some semblance of truth, but these claims are beyond belief. 

Would human family members be corralled to stand for hours in the heat of the day without water, or made to wear the human equivalent of a flank strap which encourages the bull to buck when moved? 

I doubt the bulls are fitted with jock straps before the go into the arena. The trade-off appears to be slaughter for meat or a life of exploitation and the amusement of audiences.  

Dog fighting and cock fighting have gone underground, both activities being illegal. Bull riding masquerades as tradition, a cowboy's way of life. 

I doubt bull riding was ever a tradition, but the myth suits exploiters and their market. Just because a bull is big and powerful does not mean he cannot suffer, and standing on hot tarmac is just a glimpse of their sorry life on the road.

Helen Schiele, Kelowna

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