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December 5, 2017 > Letter to the Editor: Animal cruelty Ð rodeo policy meetings

Letter to the Editor: Animal cruelty Ð rodeo policy meetings

We usually think that animal cruelty refers to random, and hopefully scarce, incidents of mistreating animals, such as setting fire to puppies, drowning kittens, and starving horses.

Unfortunately, there are also widespread, repeated acts of cruelty which are systemic to our culture and often tolerated, just like racial injustice and sexual harassment. Some of these practices continue to be perpetrated in Alameda County because some of our fellow citizens consider them part of their heritage and entertainment.

Those of us who think that such systemic cruelty to animals is, like injustice and harassment, something we ought to put behind us have two chances to make their voices heard in the upcoming weeks.

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors' two-member "Unincorporated Issues Committee" (Supervisors Nate Miles, chair; Wilma Chan, board president) will consider a proposed county-wide ban on the rodeo's brutal (and non-sanctioned) "wild cow milking" contest, children's "mutton busting" event, and all animal "scrambles." This meeting will be held at the San Lorenzo Public Library, 395 Paseo Grande at 6:30 p.m.

Then, on Monday, Dec. 11, the Hayward Recreation & Park District (HARD) will consider its rodeo policy at the annual Rowell Ranch Rodeo, which features the above events. This meeting will be held at the HARD headquarters, 1099 E St., Hayward from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Those who care about the well-being of the least among us are encouraged to attend these meetings and make their concerns known to our public officials, who are supposed to represent all of us.

Steve F. Sapontzis
President, Hayward Friends of Animals

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