Reno Rodeo Cracks Down on Shocking Devices - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Reno Rodeo Cracks Down on Shocking Devices

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The group Showing Animals Kindness and Respect -- or SHARK -  has video of broncos being shocked from the last two Reno Rodeos.

A method used to get them to buck.

"They are rearing back in pain. They are quite shocked and I'm sure they're in quite a bit of pain because I've been shocked with these devices to see what they go through and it is not pleasant."

SHARK says the devices send up to 5,000 volts of electricity. Rodeo officials admit -- they have been used in the past -- but say they are harmless and unnecessary.

"These are small, hand-held ones, not the big cattle prods that they have but even still, we don't want to use them," says Reno Rodeo President John Tipton.

That's why the rodeo is cracking down this year posting signs outlawing the devices.

And doubling the number of cameras in the chutes from five to 10 to help monitor the area.

Contractors will face a fine if caught.

"We have two people designated from the association to watch for shocking devices and if we see it happening, they will be immediately escorted off the property," says Tipton.

"I'm not buying it. But maybe because the heat is on they will not be abusing animals nearly as harshly as they have as we have caught them doing for the past two years," says the SHARK investigator.

SHARK says that is why professional cameras with detachable lenses, and video cameras are not allowed in the arena unless approved ahead of time. "We take this as a personal attack that they are trying to hide and prevent the people who are trying to stop animal abuse from documenting it and exposing it."

But the Rodeo Association says it is part of security and bags will also be searched.

"You go to an A's game, you can't bring in certain items and you go to a Raiders game, you can't bring in certain items. You go everywhere, and you can't bring in certain items. And some of those are cameras," says Tipton.

Tipton says they take very good care of their animals and do what they can to prevent injuries but says accidents do happen.

He says they've even asked for larger calves this year hoping to cut back on possible injuries in the calf-roping event.

Written by Paul Nelson

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