Bull Castrated in Front of MSU Football Team Before Game
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) _ Mississippi State’s football coach allowed a bull to be castrated in front of his team before a victory over the Texas Longhorns. He described it as an educational and motivational experience.
″The whole story came when I asked our players what a steer was and none of them knew what a steer was,″ Coach Jackie Sherrill said Sunday.
″People say (the mascot) is a longhorn steer. Is that a bull, or is he a steer?″
A steer is a castrated male of the cattle family.
The bull was castrated by its owner on the practice field in the week before the Sept. 5 game. Mississippi State won the game, 28-10.
Sherrill said the castration served two purposes.
″One is educational. That’s probably the biggest reason,″ he said.
The other was motivating his team. Asked how a bull’s castration would motivate his players, he said, ″That’s everybody’s different perception.″
John Harkness, associate dean of Mississippi State’s veterinary medicine school, questioned the appropriateness of the castration.
″Speaking for myself as a veterinarian concerned with the treatment of animals at Mississippi State, I think it was out of place,″ he said.
The castration came to light after a complaint was filed last week with the Animal Rescue League.
In response, Sherrill said the bull’s owner was ″going to perform the castration anyway.″
″We didn’t do anything inhumane to an animal,″ he added. ″The calf is standing in living color today going about his business. Let me put it this way: I don’t think that calf was embarrassed.″