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Reports of bull death at rodeo lead to renewed call for ban

February 3rd, 2018

Following the reported injury and death of a bull at yesterday evening’s Pukemanu Bullride in Martinborough, SAFE is again demanding an end to all rodeo events due to the stress and risk they subject the bulls, horses and calves to, whilst forced to perform.

Spectators said the animal broke his leg during the bullride event, which forms part of the Parklee bucking bull series. As he lay on the ground in distress, he was observed by spectators to be salivating and bellowing. Observers said he dragged himself out of the ring, and was reportedly euthanised.

“It is appalling that a bull has apparently lost his life at a rodeo. Great suffering will have been caused, and purely for the sake of entertainment,” says Mandy Carter, campaigns director. “Not only do these animals endure stress and fear every time they are forced to perform in the ring, they also risk injury and death. Events like these are nothing more than animal cruelty and have no place in a modern New Zealand.”

Bullride events involve compelling these animals to buck with a tight flank strap (also known as a kicker), tied around their bodies. Cowboys’ spurs add to their torment. While spectators only see the animal in the ring, it is behind the scenes where much of the negative impact can take place on these animals.

Investigators at New Zealand rodeo events have filmed bulls being riled up into performing, with methods including shocks with electric prods, being jabbed or kicked, and having dirt rubbed in their faces. These stressed animals were also filmed trying to climb out of the chutes or falling when forced into the ring.

“Despite the reputation bulls have as powerful and aggressive, they are simply prey animals fighting for their lives. They don’t know that this is being done just for ‘fun’. The fear and distress they experience while held in the chutes and then being forced to buck in the arena with spurs and flank-straps, is nothing less than bullying,” says Ms Carter.

Concerned local people were demonstrating outside the Pukemanu bullride last night. This is part of a huge rise in anti-rodeo sentiment which has seen protests at many events across the country including Kimbolton, Taupo, Canterbury and Whangarei.

New Zealanders want an end to rodeo. Over 62,000 people signed a petition last year calling for a rodeo ban, and a Horizon Research poll showed that 59% of Kiwis want to see an end to rodeo. Only 25% wanted this cruel entertainment to remain. Labour and the Greens have both indicated they support bans and restrictions on certain rodeo events.

SAFE are asking concerned people to email the Prime Minister, asking for a rodeo ban.

 

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