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Letter to the editor: animal cruelty

By Eric Mills


The recent news describing the egregious abuse of yearling horses at the Box Elder County Fairgrounds has enraged horse lovers nationwide. State legislation is in order to prevent such cruelty. Contact your representatives.

The Box Elder "Horse roping" event (lassoing the horse by both neck and front legs) should not be confused with the Mexican charreada's "horse tripping" event (which also takes place in Utah). Three of the charreada's nine events involve roping the legs of running horses, either front ("manganas") or rear ("piales), all inhumane.

"Horse tripping" has been banned in a dozen states, including California (the first, 1994), Arizona, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Oregon and Nevada. Of these, only Nebraska got the language right, specifically banning "roping the legs of any equine for the purpose of entertainment, sport, practice, or contest." This language, by definition, outlaws "horse roping," "big loop roping," and "horse tripping," making moot any argument about "intent" or "accidental." Utah should follow suit. And while you're at it, ban the charreada's even more brutal "steer tailing" event, as Nebraska did in 2009.

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