Former Rodeo Performer Condemns NZ Rodeo Cruelty as Rodeo Shut Down
As Huntly Rodeo shuts down for good a United States former rodeo performer and veterinarian is condemning rodeo as ‘inherently inhumane’ in an open letter released today.
As the rodeo season begins, Dr Peggy Larson has joined with SAFE in appealing to the New Zealand public not to buy into the cruelty, which she says is not part of United States’ tradition – or New Zealand’s.
The plea comes after the controversy last week involving Glassons and their new advert depicting a girl riding a bull. The company received hundreds of complaints as a result. Now reports announce that the organisers of Huntly Rodeo have closed their doors for good after receiving warnings for animal cruelty from the Ministry for Primary Industries. Dr Larson's condemnation follows the Huntly rodeo abuse case.
“Rodeo is not part of our heritage, as rodeo promoters claim. And it is most certainly not a part of New Zealand’s heritage. I urge all New Zealanders to not buy into this cruel practice,” says Dr Larson.
Dr. Larson has been a bareback bronc rider in the rodeo, a farmer, a large animal veterinarian, a medical researcher, a meat inspector, and a prosecutor. Mixing personal experience with academic expertise, she has been a strong opponent of the rodeo for years. Now she is turning her sights on New Zealand rodeo.
“Based on my extensive training and experience, it is impossible to create a humane rodeo. It is simply animal abuse for entertainment,” she says.
SAFE is also concerned that animals are being subjected to senseless cruelty, for the sake of entertainment. “Hurting animals for fun is not acceptable, in any circumstance,” says Mandy Carter, head of campaigns. “What was regarded as breaching the animal welfare act at Huntly Rodeo is common practice at every single rodeo. SAFE firmly believes this could be the beginning of the end for rodeo in New Zealand."
In the letter, Dr Larson states: “Rodeos have nothing to do with good stockmanship or farming practice. Farmers aim to handle their animals in a manner that causes the least amount of stress to the animals, whilst rodeos do the opposite.
“I urge New Zealand to ban this cruel practice. And in the meantime, I ask all New Zealanders to boycott rodeo.”
Read the full letter and find out more about rodeo.