‘Dog rodeo’ campaign unveiled

Labour weekend, the start of the New Zealand rodeo season, will see calves, horses and bulls subjected to stress and fear at rodeos held in the Canterbury towns of Methven and Winchester. To coincide with the season’s start, we have unveiled striking billboards and a hard-hitting video, with confronting images depicting dogs being roped around their necks. 
 
“There would be overwhelming national outrage if dogs were treated the way farmed animals are,” says Mandy Carter, campaigns director. ”However, this is exactly the type of brutal treatment calves will be subjected to at rodeos across New Zealand over the rodeo season. We aim to challenge the double-standards over animal treatment by showing what wouldn’t be allowed by law (dog roping), compared with animal cruelty that is still allowed (calf roping).”
 
As the web page Dogrodeo.co.nz explains, whilst dog roping doesn’t happen, something equally as abhorrent does – calf roping (also known as ‘rope and tie’). In calf roping, the young animal is forced to burst out of a chute at top speed, chased by a rider on horseback, only to be stopped short with a choking rope around their neck. The rider then dismounts, throws the calf to the ground and ties three legs together as quickly as possible.
 
A study, funded by an Australian rodeo association, concluded that calf roping causes an acute stress response. In light of this and with animals being put at risk with every rodeo event, the government needs to urgently re-examine the issue of a rodeo cruelty. 
 
Rodeo teaches people, especially impressionable children, that it’s OK to abuse animals for fun. We know there is a link between violence towards animals and violence towards people. It’s time to turn the tide and getting rid of rodeo cruelty is one positive step. There are many more positive ways to bring together local communities.
 
It’s time for this bullying of animals to end.

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18 October 2017