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Million Dollar Bulls Have Acupuncture Treatments Before Barretos Rodeo

08/13/2018 - 11h13

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MARCELO TOLEDO
ICÉM (SP)

The patient sits calmly as needles stick his body, and afterwards, he undergoes a session with burning herbs to complement the acupuncture treatment. The patient, a bull called Kiron, undergoes these weekly sessions, performed by his veterinarian, in order to recover and be able to return to Brazil's rodeo arenas.

Bull owner Paulo Emilio Marques and others are using this technique in their rodeo companies as a way to prepare or recover his livestock for big events like Festa do Peão de Boiadeiro de Barretos (Brazil's biggest rodeo festival, held in Barretos, in São Paulo state), which starts next Thursday (16).

Pierre Duarte/Folhapress
A bull undergoes a session with burning herbs to complement the acupuncture treatment
A bull undergoes a session with burning herbs to complement the acupuncture treatment

The procedures include veterinarians available 24/7, daily exercises, planned meals, blood and enzyme tests every two months and genetic improvement. Some bulls, such as Bipolar, weigh 1,100 kg (2,400 pounds) and have not been beaten by rodeo cowboys in two years.

All this care is used by rodeo companies to counter criticism from animal rights activists that they are cruel to their animals.

The monthly cost to care for each bull can reach R$ 450 (US$ 120), according ranch manager Paulo Mulato.

Mulato has worked with bulls for the last 30 years and estimates that some of his bovine stars are worth R$ 400,000 (US$ 100,000). The exception is Bipolar; bull owners say he is worth R$ 2 million (US$ 530,000).

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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