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News Blog Articles SAFE and animal experts publish open letter to Government demanding ban on cruellest parts of rodeo
SAFE and animal experts publish open letter to Government demanding ban on cruellest parts of rodeo

SAFE and animal experts publish open letter to Government demanding ban on cruellest parts of rodeo

January 28th, 2019

Twenty-four veterinarians, animal welfare authorities, and law experts signed an open letter supporting SAFE’s demands that the Labour-led Government upholds its pre-election promise to ban the cruellest aspects of rodeo.

The open letter published in the New Zealand Herald on January 29, 2019, urges the Government to ban the use of flank straps, calves under 12 months of age, electric prods and rope burning at rodeo events. Labour promised to ban all of these during their pre-election campaign but have failed to uphold that commitment.

SAFE Head of Campaigns Marianne Macdonald said, considering 15 months have passed since Labour came to power, it’s time for urgent regulatory intervention.

“The Labour party promised a ban on the use of flank straps, young calves, electric prods and rope burning at rodeo events over a year ago. It’s time the Government honours that promise and urgently acts to end these practices,” said Ms Macdonald.

“An event where a young calf is chased, wrenched to a halt with a choking rope around his neck, then thrown to the ground, is pure animal abuse. Furthermore, otherwise docile horses and bulls are forced into aggressive behaviour by painful or irritating means such as flank straps, electric prods and rope burning. All this is inflicted on animals for the entertainment of a minority.”

Rodeo had garnered significant media attention in recent weeks after rodeo spectators assaulted people attempting to film animal cruelty at the Mid-Northern Rodeo. A cover-up was also exposed when it was revealed a horse died at the Gisborne rodeo, two weeks after the organisers confirmed a bull was killed at the same rodeo.

“Rodeo events are a disturbing exhibition of human dominance over animals, and the voices who have joined SAFE in this open letter add considerable weight to demands for an end to these practices,” said Ms Macdonald.

“Caring Kiwis have had enough of the bullying of animals by so-called ‘cowboys’. Research shows that the majority of New Zealanders support a rodeo ban. SAFE and other animal groups have been exposing the cruelty that occurs at rodeo events for years. It’s imperative that the Government listens to this expert advice and the wishes of animal lovers.”

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