Change of heart

Former rodeo announcer regrets causing harm to animals

Former announcer is terminally ill

At the rodeo, people have fun at the cost of animal suffering

Image credit: Lailson Santos

Legendary Brazilian rodeo announcer, Asa Branca, says he regrets all the suffering he caused animals in the past. In a recent interview with Brazilian weekly magazine, Veja, he said he believes his terminal cancer is a kind of punishment for his past deeds.

“At the rodeo, people have fun at the cost of animal suffering,” he said, “I ask God to forgive me because I have hurt animals, I have cut animals, encouraged cruel practices.”

Asa Branca is now 57 and suffering from terminal throat cancer. He is currently receiving palliative care for the disease.

The interview for Veja magazine includes a video of a conversation between Asa Branca and prominent animal rights activist/TV celebrity, Luisa Mell. She asks him whether people involved in rodeos are fully aware of the suffering of animals.

“Yes,” he answers.

“But money is more important?” she continues.

“Yes. You see, Festa de Barretos (Brazil’s largest annual rodeo fest) can turn a profit of R$50 million (US$12.3 million). It is a lot of money.”

He said these days he would discourage anyone interested in pursuing a career in the business because it hurts animals and you can die on the job.

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