Le Lézard
Subjects: NPT, BFA, ANW

United Poultry Concerns Condemns Chicken Roping Contest, Urges Compassionate Conduct

MACHIPONGO, Va., Feb. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The so-called "sport" of chicken roping consists of bullying defenseless hens and roosters for rodeo-style entertainment in some Wyoming towns.

According to a January 21 article in Wyoming Life/News, "It's exactly like calf roping. . . . They run a chicken out of a little pen and they rope it. . . . Someone throws a cord around the neck and someone [else] tries to get one of the feet." 

This article features a bar called Dewey's Place in Moorcroft, Wyoming where chicken "roping" is said to be in its 9th year. This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, February 18.

Picture big men in cowboy dress harrying and tying cords around the necks and legs of small, fearful and bewildered birds overpowered amid the yelping of a bar crowd.

To our inquiry about the "headers" and "heelers" cited in the article, Eric Mills of Action for Animals, an Oakland, CA-based organization that focuses on rodeo reforms, explained: "That's rodeo talk for the team roping event involving a steer and two mounted cowboys. The 'header' ropes the head/horns of the steer; the 'heeler' ropes the steer's hind legs. Then they pull in opposite directions, stretching the steer out. Chickens are clearly not built for this inane activity."

While no animal of any size is built to be pulled "in opposite directions," it is particularly obscene to pull in "opposite directions" a small creature weighing just a few pounds.

"To the chickens at boot level of these 'ropers,' it's like one of us being towered over by a tall tree or building in terms of proportionate sizes," says Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns. "Imagine how scared and defenseless we would be and feel in similar circumstances."

"Chicken roping," Davis says, "is an act of pure bullying, with the inevitability of injury and death to the victims built innately into the activity. The trauma inflicted on the chicken may not even manifest itself until after the event. A hen or rooster stands no chance against a towering, controlling human being bent on subjugation."

United Poultry Concerns is calling for an end to chicken "roping." The activity by its very nature is inhumane and mean. Any self-respecting community will develop better ways to entertain itself than by roping chickens.

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of chickens and other domesticated birds. For more information, visit http://www.upc-online.org.

SOURCE United Poultry Concerns

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