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Animal rights groups sue to stop rodeo from being held at Petco Park

Petco Park in Downtown San Diego, Calif. Feb. 18, 2021.
Matt Hoffman
Petco Park in Downtown San Diego, Calif. Feb. 18, 2021.

Animal rights groups have filed a lawsuit to stop a three-day rodeo planned next year at Petco Park, which the groups allege will lead to the abuse of animals featured in the event.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in San Diego Superior Court concerns the San Diego Rodeo planned for Jan. 12-14, the first-ever rodeo to be held at the ballpark.

The plaintiffs allege the rodeo company conducting the event, C5 Rodeo, utilizes electric prods and similar devices to shock animals.


Bryan Pease, an attorney representing the animal rights groups in the lawsuit, also authored a resolution that calls for the city to pass an ordinance banning such devices at rodeos. The resolution, which was passed unanimously by the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee last month, also calls for San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria to deny an event permit for the January rodeo.

The lawsuit was filed by the Animal Protection and Rescue League and Showing Animals Respect and Kindness and names the San Diego Padres and C5 Rodeo as defendants.

A Padres spokesman said no comment could be provided regarding the lawsuit.

But regarding the rodeo itself, the Padres said,

"We have been assured by the group that is hosting this event that the safety, security and well-being of the contestants and livestock of the San Diego Rodeo are of the utmost importance. They are event professionals who are experts in livestock handling and care, as well as pre-event, event and post-event care for the contestants.


Animal welfare is a major ongoing initiative of the professional sport of rodeo and the San Diego Rodeo, and the event hosts pledge to continue the strict enforcement of these rules and regulations."