People For Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA] wants Wyoming to ditch the bucking horse and rider on its license plates, or at least give motorists the option of opting out of plates featuring the iconic logo.

That's according to a PETA news release issued on Thursday.

According to spokeswoman Maddy Missett, the organization sent letters to Wyoming Senate President Ogden Driskill and House Speaker Albert Sommers asking them  ''to allow residents to opt out of promoting cruelty on their cars.''

The release quotes PETA president Ingrid Newkirk as saying “Animals exploited in rodeos are provoked with weapons and left with broken bones, punctured lungs, and snapped necks,” said Newkirk. “PETA is calling on Wyoming lawmakers to allow residents to reject this cruelty and celebrate what truly makes their state extraordinary, such as its thrilling Jurassic history or the wild horses who run free on its plains.”

The request is unlikely to get much traction in a state where rodeos are a cultural icon. Wyoming is not known as ''The Cowboy State" without good reason, and rodeos are a major feature of the summer. They range from Cheyenne Frontier Days, the world's largest outdoor rodeo, to smaller local and community rodeos held across the state.

PETA's criticism of rodeos is nothing new, and so far such comments have had no visible impact on the popularity of the sport in Wyoming.

That isn't stopping PETA from proposing three alternative plates: ''a horse running free in nature; and, if lawmakers insist on promoting rodeos, a more honest depiction of them—a spur dripping blood.''

College National Finals Rodeo-Saturday

College National Finals Rodeo-Saturday

Gallery Credit: Frank Gambino

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