Tell our Prime Minister to End Rodeo Cruelty


The suffering of animals is inherent in rodeo. Horses, bulls, steers and calves are scared, stressed and risk injury and death, as they are ridden, roped and wrestled aggressively as part of the 'entertainment'.

The use of baby animals is of particular concern. In calf roping, the young animal is forced to burst out of a chute to run at top speed chased by a rider on horseback. The calf is dragged to a halt with a choking rope around the neck, thrown to the ground and has three legs tied together, all as quickly as possible.

These young animals are also ridden by children and are forced to buck with the use of a tight 'flank strap'. Calf riding not only subjects these baby animals to stress, especially those whose front legs collapse under the child's weight, but also puts young people in a dangerous situation.

The NZ Animal Welfare Act calls for animals to be handled in a way that minimises the likelihood of unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress. Rodeo, by its very nature, contravenes the spirit of the law and shames us as a nation.

Following repeated outrage when the cruelty in rodeo is exposed in the media, people have spoken out in their thousands, including animal welfare experts and those who signed a petition with 62,000 signatures, while polling shows the majority support an end to rodeo. However, a parliamentary committee decided to ignore the suffering inflicted on animals. This is unacceptable and SAFE will continue this campaign until rodeos are a thing of the past.

Again this rodeo season we have seen animals terrified and abused, and a bull killed after breaking his leg, purely for the entertainment of a minority.

Government Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri has announced that they will be fast-tracking a review of certain rodeo practises. This is a good first step towards a New Zealand where animals are no longer forced to perform for the entertainment of a minority. However, all rodeo events are inherently cruel and we need to keep the pressure on until all rodeo is consigned to the history books.

Take Action Now

Stand up for animals by sending an email to our Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, as well as animal welfare committee, NAWAC, urging them to end all rodeo cruelty.