'Shutdown' Day 7: Government Buys $47,174 Mechanical Bull

By Eric Scheiner | October 7, 2013 | 3:21pm EDT

A mechanical bull offered by Mechanical Bull Sales Inc. (mechanicalbullsales.com photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The government shutdown may be keeping furloughed federal workers at home, but on Monday the U.S. Army contracted to buy a mechanical bull.

The $47,174 contract was awarded on Oct. 7 to Mechanical Bull Sales Inc. of State College, Penn.

According to the General Services Administration (GSA) listing, the National Guard of Utah made the request for a “bull which needs to be durable and low maintenance.”

The bull that was sold to the Utah National Guard should meet any state safety requirements. The Mechanical Bull Sales website says, “Our mechanical bulls are approved for use in all 50 states and Canada. This includes: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California which have stringent safety requirements for amusement rides.”

Lt. Col. Hank McIntire of the Utah National Guard tells CNSNews.com that the mechanical bull is regularly used as a tool by recruiters at fairs and other events.

“It draws attention to their message,” McIntire said.

McIntire says mechanical bulls have been used for several years by Utah National Guard recruiters. He says the previous mechanical bull had broke down and was beyond repair.

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