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Call to boycott rodeo brutality

MEDIA RELEASE

24 October 2003

Call to boycott rodeo brutality

Dozens of animal rights campaigners expect to 'lock horns' with rodeo organisers in an attempt to deliver an emphatic message to those arriving at the Methven rodeo on Sunday. Campaigners will urge rodeo-goers to not support such a brutal form of entertainment.

"Rodeos are based on brutality and tormenting animals for entertainment. Calves, steers, horses and sheep are often forced to endure severe rough handling, painful electric shocks, mistreatment and trauma during rodeo events," says SAFE Director Anthony Terry.

"During the Waikouaiti rodeo last April, SAFE campaigners witnessed a large white stallion sustain a broken back while attempting to buck off its rider. The horse was dragged out of the arena and killed. Where else can you pay to see animals being deliberately abused in such physical and brutal ways? Rodeo animals are continually at risk of sustaining bruises, strains, ruptured ligaments, fractures or lacerations."

"Calf roping and steer wrestling are particularly abusive but despite being banned in many countries are still legal in New Zealand. SAFE has lobbied the government for the past two years seeking a ban on rodeos or at the very least cruel practices such as calf roping."

The code of welfare governing rodeos in New Zealand has been under review by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) since December 2001.

"NAWAC's failure to release the code of welfare regarding rodeos within an adequate timeframe, thereby giving greater protection to rodeo animals, has unnecessarily contributed to terrible animal suffering and trauma."

SAFE's protest action will commence from 11am outside the A and P Showgrounds in Methven.

For more information contact: Anthony Terry, SAFE Director, Ph: 021 611 979

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