On Tuesday, protestors of a motion to ban rodeos within Los Angeles city limits gathered on horseback outside the LA City Hall. The motion was approved in a 14-0 vote, with Councilwoman Nithya Raman absent.

The new city law defines and prohibits rodeos and “harmful practices, techniques, and devices or rodeo-related events.” The City Council also approved an amendment to the motion to protect traditional cultural and equestrian events. 

Councilman Bob Blumenfield and Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez proposed the amendment. Rodriguez asserted that a blanket ban on rodeos could directly affect communities of color. “I’m actually really grateful in that this ordinance has unified communities of color that are supportive of equine-keeping practices,” Rodriguez told NBC Los Angeles before the vote. “This rich cultural tradition that has unified all of our communities because it is something that we all gravitate to is something that is really well celebrated.” The amendment cites Charreria, a tradition in Mexican and western United States livestock herding communities practiced predominantly by Latinos, as one such event that should be protected.

Blumenfield introduced the motion in 2021, disappointed that Los Angeles had not already imposed limits on rodeos. “Isn’t this Los Angeles? Are we not the City of Angels, the compassionate city that leads? We usually set the trends. Not this time. But we have an opportunity to catch up this time,” he said. 

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An ordinance was passed by the LA City Council in December 2022 that would prohibit the use of electric prods or shocking devices, flank or bucking straps, wire tie-downs, and sharpened or fixed spurs or rowels at all rodeos or rodeo-related events. However, the council never voted on the ordinance; instead, it focused on an outright ban on rodeos. 

Juan Diaz, one of the protestors on horseback, denied any implications of animal abuse within the rodeo community. “These horses are our life,” he said. “These horses are our life. We care for these animals as if they were our family. So, if it dies out… where’s our heritage going?”

Andrew Giangola, a Professional Bull Riders tour representative, expressed a similar sentiment in a statement on Tuesday. “PBR bulls are extraordinary athletes born to buck who get great care and are protected by stringent rules and guidelines ensuring their safety and well-being. Attempting to ban our sport is based on rampant misinformation, is culturally insensitive, and completely unnecessary,” he commented. 

The Professional Bull Riders tour traditionally stops in Los Angeles for an annual two-day event, which will be canceled under the new law. The event in February 2023 drew a crowd of 12,529 fans to the Crypto.com arena. The PBR has fought against accusations of animal cruelty before, running an ad campaign before its last LA event with the slogan, “Buck the LA. City Council. The Only Thing Being Tortured is the Truth.” 

The 2023 PBR event drew a small crowd of about 20 animal rights activists. Members of similar groups gathered outside City Hall on Tuesday to celebrate the motion’s approval.