News Blog Articles Animal welfare organisations disappointed with rodeo decision

Animal welfare organisations disappointed with rodeo decision

November 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.”


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