News Blog Articles SAFE appalled to learn rodeo organisers kept second fatality at Gisborne Rodeo hidden
SAFE appalled to learn rodeo organisers kept second fatality at Gisborne Rodeo hidden

SAFE appalled to learn rodeo organisers kept second fatality at Gisborne Rodeo hidden

January 10th, 2019

New information given to SAFE in January 2019 revealed a second animal was killed at the Gisborne Rodeo in December 2018, showing a lack of transparency around the animal cruelty in the rodeo community.

A source from the rodeo community, who wishes to remain anonymous, informed SAFE that a horse was killed at the Gisborne Rodeo on December 27 2018 after escaping a chute and running into a fence. This was the same rodeo where a bull was shot after dislocating part of his leg in a bullride event.

SAFE Head of Campaigns Marianne Macdonald was appalled that the horse’s death was kept hidden when rodeo organisers acknowledged the death of a bull at the same rodeo.

“Rodeo organisers regard these horrific deaths as ‘freak accidents’ that ‘rarely occur’. We have now learned that not one, but two animals have been killed at the same rodeo in Gisborne. These animals have been killed for the entertainment of a minority,” said Ms Macdonald.

“There’s no transparency or accountability at rodeo events. It requires whistle-blowers and activists to bring fatalities to the public’s attention, so we don’t know how many animals overall are killed by the rodeo cowboys.”

The Rodeo Code of Welfare covers animals used in rodeo events, as well as animals used in rodeo training and rodeo schools. However, there are no requirements to report publicly on animal deaths and injuries.

“We know at least four animals have died in rodeo in 2018, but we don’t know how many have died in training. This figure could be so much bigger,” said Ms Macdonald.

“Even when animals aren’t killed, they often suffer extreme stress and fear. Animal loving New Zealanders have no stomach for the bullying of animals for fun. Rodeo organisers clearly know this. Rodeo cruelty can’t be improved, so it’s hidden as much as possible from public view.”

“It’s time that the Government steps in and ends this systematic cruelty and bans all future rodeo events.”

Take Action

  • Email Jacinda Ardern and demand the Government ban rodeo cruelty.
  • If you have any information about animal injuries or fatalities at rodeo, please come forward to share your information with SAFE confidentially. Contact us on our website.


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