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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Lawmakers Advance Ban On 'Equine Tripping'

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would ban the practice of "equine tripping" at rodeos. The bill approved Tuesday by the Oregon Senate also includes a provision aimed at preserving the right to hold rodeos in the first place.

Equine tripping is the practice of roping a horse's legs in order to make it fall. Critics say such falls can leave the animals severely injured. Most mainstream rodeos don't have the event.

But animal rights groups distributed a video of equine tripping shot at a rural southeast Oregon rodeo last summer. A few lawmakers said the ban would harm small towns that hold rodeo events. But Democratic Senator Mark Hass said that simply wasn't a good enough reason to allow it.

"There is no amount of economic activity. There is no amount of entertainment value or tradition to justify this cruel, cruel practice," Hass said. "It is indefensible."

The bill also includes a so-called "Right to rodeo" clause that would prevent any local governments from banning rodeos. That was included to broaden the measure's appeal to rural lawmakers.

The bill now heads to the Oregon House.

On the Web:

SB 835: Equine tripping ban - Oregon Legislature