Protestors rally in opposition to rodeo decisionNovember 10th, 2016
Today, November 10, members of the public outraged by the government’s deliberate inaction on rodeo will be joined by SAFE, Farmwatch and Green Party MP Mojo Mathers outside Parliament to rally against the continued abuse of animals.
The Primary Production Select Committee this week responded to the 62,000 strong petition asking for a ban of commercialised cruelty in rodeo. No ban or restrictions were recommended by the committee.
The response comes as this rodeo season kicks off, and protestors say the fight to end rodeo is not over. Despite documented welfare breaches in previous seasons, Richmond rodeo ending as sponsors pulled out, and a majority of the public supporting a ban, the government is allowing rodeo abuse to continue.
In addition to the petition, a scientific poll supplied to the committee found that more than half (59%) of the respondents supported a ban on using animals in rodeos in New Zealand.
“Rodeos cause animal suffering, distress, injury and even death for entertainment. This is an absolute embarrassment to New Zealand and is clearly unacceptable to the public who wants to see it end,” says SAFE Campaigns and Policy Officer Stephen Manson.
“We are disappointed the committee has let animals down,” says Farmwatch spokesperson Jasmine Gray. “What we have witnessed in our investigations is appalling. It is alarming they think this treatment is acceptable for the sake of fun. We are concerned about the message this sends to people about how we treat the vulnerable members of our society.”
Two animals died in the 2015-2016 rodeo season; a horse in Te Anau and a bull broke his leg at the Richmond rodeo. The organisations are concerned this will occur again as nothing has been done to address the cause of this problem.
“The government has said closer regulation of rodeo and ways to reduce the numbers of animals used are being considered. This is not good enough; no animal should be put through the horror of being forced to take part in a rodeo. We will be keeping a close eye on this and continue to fight for a complete ban on this blatant abuse of animals,” Mr Manson added.
SAFE will continue the campaign to end rodeo. SAFE says those against animal cruelty should avoid attending rodeos this season, saying there are many ways to enjoy a fun, family day out that don’t involve animal cruelty.