Animal welfare organisations disappointed with rodeo decisionNovember 7th, 2016
The Government’s announcement today that no action will be taken to ban rodeo, following a 62,000-strong petition from New Zealanders, has angered leading animal welfare organisations.
SAFE is calling the process a big disappointment, both for animals and the public who, the organisation says, made it clear that they wanted rodeo banned.
In addition to the petition, a poll supplied to the Primary Production Select Committee, tasked with making the decision, found that more than half (59%) of the respondents supported a ban on using animals in rodeos in New Zealand. Just 25% of respondents opposed a ban.
“Animals in rodeo are simply terrified. This cannot be overstated. For the committee to ignore all the evidence of cruelty to animals—and the wishes of the majority of the public—is deplorable,” says SAFE head of campaigns Mandy Carter. “Rodeo is enjoyed by a small minority. Why should their desire override the wishes of the majority of caring Kiwis? Rodeo is an absolute embarrassment to New Zealand.”
In July 2015 SAFE, Farmwatch and SPCA New Zealand joined forces to form a coalition calling for a ban on rodeo, saying it is both unethical and inherently cruel, and that it breaks New Zealand law that says animals must not be subjected to unnecessary pain or distress.
Footage shot around New Zealand showed terrified animals suffering fear and distress after being prodded, slapped in the face, having their tail twisted, and collapsing from extreme stress.
“We have filmed at many rodeos over the last three seasons. At every rodeo we have seen animals who were clearly terrified and distressed by being forced to participate in these events. We have seen animals being punched, kicked and electrically prodded,” says Jasmine Gray from Farmwatch. “This is simply not acceptable for entertainment.”
The groups are vowing to continue the campaign to end rodeo and are asking people to boycott rodeos in the upcoming season.
“The Animal Welfare Act requires that animals are not subjected to unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress. Causing animals to suffer for entertainment is both unreasonable and unnecessary,” says Ms Carter. “We will continue the fight to end rodeo, both on behalf of animals and caring Kiwis that want the practice banned.”