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Council Funds Rodeo Animal Abuse

Council Funds Rodeo Animal Abuse

Animal advocacy group SAFE says that Hamilton City Council has not only let animals down by allowing the International Rodeo to take place on council land but they have also been discovered supporting animal cruelty financially, with the revelation that the council has provided funds to rodeo organisers.

The news comes just before the International Rodeo event, which is again being permitted by the council in contrast to the action of Auckland City Council which, in 2008, banned rodeos on council land.

SAFE has received information that last year Hamilton City Council contributed to the international Rodeo by providing event sponsorship. “We want to alert Hamilton ratepayers to the fact that not only has the council set a policy that allows rodeo animal abuse, but their money is being spent on animal cruelty.” says SAFE Campaign manager Mandy Carter.

“Shockingly, the council has declined to be accountable to ratepayers by refusing to reveal how much of their money was spent on this cruel event. I’m sure ratepayers don’t want to fund animal abuse and we are seeking a commitment from the council that no more secret deals like this will be done in the future.

“Animals in rodeo suffer. They are panicked, confused, stressed, afraid – they don’t realise it’s ‘just for fun’. And in the International Rodeo this suffering is intensified because of the unnatural environment, fireworks, pyrotechnics, and loud sound system,” says Ms Carter. “Hamilton Council should be ashamed of allowing animal abuse to take place on council land and we hope they will take a positive step and ban rodeos.”

In addition to Auckland, rodeos are banned in the UK, parts of Europe, Australia and the US on the grounds of cruelty to animals.

The international Rodeo is also being held in Dunedin, although Mayor Dave Cull has said that “SAFE’s concerns are valid” and “there is probably widespread support and sympathy for what SAFE is saying about the welfare of animals used in rodeos”. Encouraged by these comments, SAFE will be talking to Dunedin Council, asking them to commit to banning all future events of this type.

Rodeo code under review

The government is taking public submissions on the draft Code of Welfare for rodeos until the end of November, and SAFE is calling for a total ban on this brutal 'sport', saying no welfare code can alter the inherently cruel and exploitative nature of rodeo events. SAFE is asking the public to make their own submissions by visiting safe.org.nz

“Being a nation of animal lovers, most of us can’t stand such cruelty to animals. If you live in a town hosting one of these brutal events, steer clear of the rodeo. It isn’t ‘entertainment’ for the animals. It’s time to bring this brutal spectacle to an end.” says Ms Carter.

Footage shot by animal advocates at last year’s international Rodeo can be viewed on SAFE’s website.

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