Rodeo Code Of Welfare A Sick Joke

SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos released at the end of October is nothing but a sick joke.

“Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called entertainment,” says Hans Kriek. “It really is ridiculous to have a welfare code for an animal abuse practice.”

The code of welfare, released by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC), makes minor changes to the previous code that include a ban on pyrotechnics, and the use of sheep by children. SAFE says these alterations do little to address the continued animal abuse that routinely takes place in rodeos, such as the brutality of calf roping.

“NAWAC have acknowledged there is wide opposition to rodeo and that many events are considered inhumane but have shied away from doing anything about them,” says Hans.

NAWAC’s statement said “There are a number of new or heightened requirements in the code to better protect animal welfare”. “Try telling that to a baby calf that is slammed into the ground at 30km per hour”.

SAFE believes rodeos are in breach of New Zealand's Animal Welfare Act which states that animals should be "physically handled in a manner which minimises the likelihood of unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress". Rodeo events however are based totally on asserting dominance, coercion, and cruel practices that force animals to 'perform'. This is in total contradiction of the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act.

By their very nature rodeos deliberately subject animals to fear, stress and torment. “The code of welfare is ineffectual because there is simply no way to make rodeos humane. Rodeos have no place in New Zealand. It's time for them to go the same way as other brutal blood sports like bear baiting and cock fighting. A total ban on this cruel practice is the only solution.”

Until that happens SAFE says it is urging the public to boycott all rodeos. Find out more about rodeo cruelty.