Hard-hitting anti-rodeo ad goes nationwide

As the New Zealand rodeo season draws to a close with the Wanaka rodeo finals this weekend, we are ensuring that this form of animal cruelty remains in the spotlight by launching a hard-hitting nationwide campaign.

This campaign includes a cinema advertisement and striking billboards, comparing the cruelty of calf roping with the same treatment if it were done to a dog

“While dog roping doesn’t happen, something equally abhorrent does. Vulnerable young animals are being tormented in calf roping events across New Zealand. They are forced to burst out of a chute at top speed, chased by a rider on horseback, wrenched to an abrupt halt with a choking rope around the neck, and slammed on the ground where three legs are trussed together. If the same thing was done to dogs it would be banned immediately,” says Mandy Carter, campaigns director.

The six-month 2017/18 rodeo season has seen a huge upsurge in public condemnation of rodeo. Local people have held peaceful protests outside nine rodeos and there has been vigorous debate across New Zealand. Following on from companies withdrawing sponsorship in previous seasons, additional high profile companies have distanced themselves from rodeo including Foodstuffs – owners of New World and Pak’nSave – and Z Energy.

It doesn’t take an animal welfare expert to see the distress inflicted by rodeo events. Obvious signs of stress in roped calves are commonly witnessed, including bellowing, showing the whites of their eyes and having their tongue hanging out.

Science also shows that calves suffer in rodeo. The most recent study on calf roping concluded that these young animals suffer an ‘acute stress response’. Additionally, the rodeo code of welfare recommends that ‘calves should not be used in rodeo events’.

Our Animal Welfare Act calls for animals to be handled in a way that minimises pain and distress. Yet rodeo by its very nature contravenes this and shames us as a nation.

The new Government is looking at the use of calves and we look forward to them upholding their pre-election promise to ban the use of animals under 12 months, flank straps, rope burning and the use of electronic prods.

Take Action

Help end the cruelty of rodeo for good: write to the Prime Minister.

7 March 2018