In the PBR, the bulls are treated with as much respect as, if not more than, the human athletes who ride them. The PBR’s Animal Welfare Policy exemplifies the great regard in which everyone associated with the organization holds these athletes, as well as explains the care they receive as professional athletes.
There are two great athletes in every 8-second ride, the bull rider and the bull.
The Professional Bull Riders is fully committed to ensuring the health, safety, welfare, and respect of each bovine athlete that enters a PBR arena. The care and treatment of PBR bulls is a top priority to those who govern and/or participate in PBR events. The organization operates under a no tolerance policy for any mistreatment of an animal associated with the PBR.
PBR has proactively initiated and implemented a number of measures designed to foster and support the welfare of our bovine athletes.
The welfare of PBR’s animal athletes is a higher priority than any other consideration when making decisions with respect to the animal’s well-being, including the financial impact of those decisions. In November 2006, the PBR held an event in Hawaii, the Hawaii All-Star. The PBR had the option to ship bulls to Hawaii via boat which would have taken seven days, but also cost considerably less than other alternatives. Instead, the PBR determined that the welfare of the animals would be compromised during such a journey, therefore it invested nearly $350,000, compared to less than $100,000 if shipped by sea, to fly the necessary bulls to Hawaii for the event in special, customized containers.
The value of the bulls to the stock contractors who own and breed them and to the PBR helps ensure that every effort and safeguard is in place to protect the bulls from any mistreatment or situation that would adversely affect their quality of life, ability to continue competing or their futures as breeding bulls. Many of the bulls currently bucking on PBR tours are valued at approximately the six-figures; the owner of PBR’s greatest bull, Bushwacker, was offered $1 million for his three-time World Champion bull.
Like humans, PBR bucking bulls come in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors, and like humans, their own personalities and talents make them unique. The PBR has a vast number of championship-caliber bulls that compete on the PBR’s multi-tiered tour structure. The bulls receive impeccable treatment and are often considered to be a “member of the family.”
It is extremely rare that a PBR bull is injured as a result of its performance, however bulls that suffer a career-ending injury are retired to stud and live the balance of their lives as healthy, fully capable breeding bulls. While their injuries may prevent them from competing at the PBR level as a bucking athlete, they do not impede their quality of life or ability to function.