PETA is calling on the Georgia Bulldogs and Texas Longhorns to end their use of live-animal mascots, following a “near-tragedy” at the Sugar Bowl.
Before Tuesday’s game, Texas’ Bevo XV charged Georgia’s Uga X, pushing barriers, members of the media and spectators during what appeared to be a mascot meetup.
Handlers say the crowd and noise at the game startled the steer, but the animal rights organization says the dust-up could have ended in severe injuries or death.
PETA added that the incident is a prime example of why most colleges and professional sports teams retired live-animal mascots years ago.
“The handful who haven’t yet should quickly follow suit,” PETA stated.
According to PETA, live animals used as mascots are “held in captivity and often denied the opportunity to fulfill many of their most basic instincts.”
The organization says human mascots can better engage with fans and are much less expensive for schools.
The University of Georgia first introduced the English bulldog mascot in 1956.
Georgia and Texas use human mascots as well. Both were in attendance at the Sugar Bowl.
PETA is calling on fans to e-mail their favorite team’s fundraising or community-outreach committee to end the use of live-animal mascots and use people instead.