- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Organizers say new safety measures are responsible for a drop in animal injuries and deaths at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports (https://bit.ly/1SgS5vG) two fewer animals died during the festival this year compared to 2014 and veterinarians treated 34 animals for injuries, a reduction of almost 59 percent.

Public affairs chairman Bob Budd and CEO Tom Hirsig say the arena for the 10-day festival was set up to reduce risk. Lighter calves with more experience were used in the tie-down roping event as well.

“This is the direction we want to go,” Budd said. “We’ve said all along that our highest priority is to reduce or eliminate (injuries and deaths). But our goal is always zero.”

Michael Koblisha is an investigator with Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, a group that posted three videos to its website of events that he says should have ended when the calf was injured.

“Once that animal is injured, that is when that event should stop,” he said. “They should get the animal treated or euthanize it.”

Budd said one of those events should have been stopped.

“I think you have to chalk that one up and admit that we made a mistake,” he said.

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Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, https://www.wyomingnews.com

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