Parliament vigil mourns rodeo crueltyOctober 29th, 2015
Parliament witnessed an eye catching vigil today, held on behalf of two bulls that died in rodeo last year and all animals that will suffer stress and fear this season. A wide range of animal supporters showed up to take a stand for animals, and called for an end to the cruelty of rodeo. High resolution photos can be downloaded below.
The event was organised by animal advocacy organisation SAFE, and was supported by the SPCA and Farmwatch. The groups are in a coalition together calling for a total ban on rodeo. Green Party MP Mojo Mathers was also in attendance. All the groups want to see a ban on rodeo written into law.
“Nobody wants to see animals suffering for entertainment,” says SAFE Campaigns Officer Shanti Ahluwalia. “We are getting a huge amount of support from the public, and our petition recently hit the 30,000 mark.”
Footage released earlier this year shows that rodeo animals are routinely subjected to abuse like kicks, slaps, and electric shocks. As part of the events, animals are chased, wrestled, and roped.
The members of the vigil say that these events are dangerous and stressful for the animals, citing the deaths of two bulls in the previous season and risk of injuries for rodeo animals, such as broken bones and bruising.
In 2014, when government advisors wrote the Rodeo Code of Welfare, they warned that they continued to have reservations about rodeo. Codes of Welfare are supposed to give guidelines for how animals can be used, but SAFE believes rodeos should not even be allowed under the law. The law states that animals should not suffer ‘unnecessary’ pain or distress, which should prevent animals from suffering for entertainment.
“Right now everyone has got rugby fever. Rodeo organisers often try to defend their so called ‘sport’ but if rodeo is really a sport, the animals are more like the rugby ball than the athletes,” says Mr Ahluwalia. “It is time for a ban on rodeo.”
SAFE will continue to pressure the government until rodeo is banned, and is calling for the public to sign the petition launched by SAFE, the SPCA and Farmwatch earlier this year. A link to the petition can be found on SAFE’s website.