Rodeo cowboys acting as Animal Welfare OfficersMarch 12th, 2019
The 2019 National Finals Rodeo in North Canterbury bought the season death toll to four animals, after a horse, Nev, was killed following the bareback ‘bronc’ riding event. The death follows on from a horse who was killed at the November 2018 Methven Rodeo, and a horse and bull who were both killed at the December 2018 Gisborne Rodeo.
Despite new ‘suggested practices’ introduced by the New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association prior to this season, and the cowboys hiding behind the woefully weak Rodeo Code of Welfare, frightened animals continue to be abused and killed.
After an investigation by The Animal Justice League NZ, it was found that the Animal Welfare Officers appointed at the Winchester, Gisborne and North Canterbury Rodeo Finals, are all rodeo cowboys – the very same people who bully and abuse animals in the ring.
The Winchester Rodeo Animal Welfare Officer was Chris Hoods, who also competed at the same rodeo. Rodeo cowboy Ross Brown was the Animal Welfare Officer at the Gisborne Rodeo, where two animals were killed. The National Final Rodeo, where the horse Nev was killed, had rodeo cowboy Laurie Latta as the Animal Welfare Officer. When previously interviewed by Radio New Zealand, Mr Latta was quoted as saying to the interviewer, “It wouldn’t hurt you if I threw you quietly on the ground, would it?”
The revelations show that the officials responsible for animal welfare at rodeo events are the same people involved in putting animals at risk of injury and death .
The Animal Justice League’s investigation also found that there was no SPCA or MPI representative present at the 2018 Winchester Rodeo, despite the Rodeo Cowboys Association claiming that at least one official from these organisations will be present at each rodeo.
Even when animals aren’t killed or injured at rodeo events, they’re tormented, bullied and abused, and the so-called Animal Welfare Officers are nothing more than rodeo people monitoring rodeo people.
Despite increased public scrutiny, animals continue to be killed at rodeo events. It’s time for rodeo cruelty to be banned.
- Email Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and urge her Government to adopt Gareth Hughes’ Member’s Bill to ban rodeo cruelty.