Protests and Lawsuit Attempt To Stop San Diego Rodeo - Update

Posted in 2023 in

To provide a balanced view, there is local opposition mounting against the planned San Diego Rodeo at Petco Park.

Who is opposing the rodeo?

Animal rights advocates and San Diego local Democratic Party are leading the efforts, raising concerns about animal cruelty and the use of “torture devices” on animals.

Who filed the lawsuit?

Animal Protection and Rescue League, Inc., and Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) have filed a lawsuit against the San Diego Padres and C5 Rodeo Co. Their lawsuit aims to prevent the rodeo from taking place at the venue, citing existing city regulations that prohibit farm animals from being inside Petco Park and on nearby sidewalks and walkways.

Bryan Pease, an attorney representing the plaintiffs (and the animals), expressed concerns about the treatment of animals at the rodeo, claiming that C5 Rodeo uses electric prods, shocking devices, bucking straps, sharpened spurs, and other tools on the animals. He emphasized that the city should not have allowed such an event at Petco Park in the first place, citing specific regulations in the municipal code governing the park.

Read the complaint here.

San Diego Padres Response

In response to the concerns raised by animal advocates, the San Diego Padres issued a statement emphasizing their commitment to the safety and well-being of both contestants and livestock involved in the San Diego Rodeo. They have been assured by the event organizers that they are experts in animal care and will strictly enforce rules and regulations related to animal welfare.

We have been assured by the group that is hosting this event that the safety, security and well-being of the contestants and livestock of the San Diego Rodeo are of the utmost importance. They are event professionals who are experts in livestock handling and care, as well as pre-event, event and post-event care for the contestants. Animal welfare is a major ongoing initiative of the professional sport of rodeo and the San Diego Rodeo, and the event hosts pledge to continue the strict enforcement of these rules and regulations.
— San Diego Padres statement

Summarize both sides of the debate

Critics of the rodeo claim that the devices used to control animals, including electric prods, bucking straps, and sharpened spurs, constitute torture devices. They argue that rodeos are inherently cruel to the animals involved, causing them injuries such as broken ribs, backs, and legs, punctured lungs, and internal organ damage.

The Padres, on the other hand, have highlighted the rodeo’s professional organizers and their extensive experience in livestock handling and care. While this will be the first rodeo at Petco Park, the team points out that annual rodeos are held in other San Diego County communities.


PETA is organizing and asking for support in pressuring the Padres to cancel the rodeo. They issued a formal letter to organizers and are urging others to take action.

About The Rodeo

The San Diego Rodeo is scheduled to take place in January 2024. In theory, Mayor Todd Gloria could deny the event a permit. It remains to be seen how the lawsuit and public pressure will influence the outcome of this controversial event.

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