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Animal rights activists take California rodeo to court

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SALINAS — Animal rights activists are taking a historic California rodeo to court, saying organizers should have reported dozens of cattle injured in roping contests.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund said Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit against the California Rodeo Salinas, a century-old event held annually on California's Central Coast. The suit says rodeo officials for the last two years reported just four of 41 injuries, mostly to steers.

The animal rights group says it sued on behalf of the Illinois-based Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, or SHARK.

SHARK founder Steve Hindi says state law requires that such injuries be promptly reported to the California Veterinary Medical Board.

The suit also names the rodeo's head veterinarian, Tim Eastman.

Rodeo officials and Eastman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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