BURLEY, Idaho (KLIX)-The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent a letter to the Cassia County prosecutor and sheriff asking for an investigation into the recent Oakley Pioneer Days rodeo event involving wild cows and fireworks. PETA said it sent a letter to Prosecutor McCord Larsen and Sheriff George Warrell calling for an investigation into the wild cow event where select groups of people attempt to wrangle an untamed cow within the rodeo arena.

PETA references a video taken during the rodeo by a spectator and shared with KTVB's "the208" showing several cows and people attempting to catch them. The event is often a common site at Idaho rodeos. PETA said the use fireworks to scare the animals should result in criminal charges brought against those who organized the event.

One of the board members for the Oakley Pioneer Days Rodeo told KTVB that some people brought their own fireworks to the show and began aiming them towards the animals and participants, you can view the interview below, plus read the full letter sent to Cassia County authorities from PETA:

PETA letter:

August 2, 2021
To: The Honorable McCord Larsen, Cassia County Prosecuting Attorney
The Honorable George Warrell, Sheriff of Cassia County
From: Kristin Rickman, Emergency Response Division Manager, PETA
Re: Cruelty to Animals at Oakley Pioneer Days Rodeo
Your urgent attention is respectfully requested.
Greetings from PETA. We’re writing concerning a now-viral incident at this year’s Oakley Pioneer Days Rodeo, during which audience members, participants, and, according to one reporter, possibly even rodeo board members were captured on video blasting Roman candles into an arena full of humans and other animals in the midst of a “wild cow riding” event. Indeed, horrific footage documents that cows frantically flailed and ran in circles as they desperately tried to evade countless flaming projectiles, many of which appeared to be aimed directly at them. Some even bounced off their heads and bodies. Rodeo board member Cache Taylor stated in a media interview that the fireworks have been a regular part of the show for years, used with the intent to make the cows “more wild”—in other words, to torment and terrify the animals into panicking. He also indicated that “problems” with individuals who have shot fireworks at cows have occurred for “the last couple of years.” This video of the annual event uploaded to YouTube in 2011 shows firecrackers being set off right at the animals’ feet as they exited the stalls and airborne fireworks being shot just above the animals.
Idaho Code Section § 25-3504 prohibits anyone from treating an animal cruelly, and Section § 25-3502 defines cruelty as “maliciously ... torment[ing] … an animal” or “subject[ing] an animal to needless suffering or inflict[ing] unnecessary cruelty.” We respectfully request an investigation into this matter. Responsible parties should be identified, and criminal charges, including cruelty to animals, should be filed as merited. We also ask that rodeo organizers be ordered to prohibit the use of pyrotechnics at these events, which are hard enough on these animals as it is.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this disturbing matter. May we please hear back soon?
Kristin Rickman
Emergency Response Division Manager
Cruelty Investigations Department
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