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SPCA Calls For Rodeo Boycott


For immediate release: 4 February 2005


The SPCA has called on New Zealanders to "vote with their feet" and boycott rodeos.

"During January there were rodeos across the length and breadth of the country, from the Far North to Otago and Southland. There are also at least seven more scheduled for February and approximately as many again scheduled for March.

"We urge people who truly care about animals to boycott these events. If the public stop attending rodeos, promoters will eventually give up organizing them," says the Royal New Zealand SPCA's Chief Executive, Robyn McDonald.

Robyn McDonald adds that children's rodeo events, such as rooster-catching, catching the greasy pig, sheep-riding and calf-riding can be terrifying to animals, whilst giving children the clear and inescapable message that cruelty to animals is amusing.

"It really can't be good for kids to be taught that this kind of behaviour is acceptable. There's no shortage of data pointing to the link between cruelty to animals and violence towards other human beings. We are just buying trouble for our country if we encourage children to take pleasure in causing fear and pain to other creatures.

"Many rodeo events characterize humans dominating animals in a cruel and callous way. New Zealanders should ask themselves whether they really want to spend their leisure time applauding these displays of arrogance and violence.

"At a typical rodeo, animals are provoked into performing by the use of flank straps, spurs and ropes. Just imagine the stress, torment and fear this can cause. In addition, there's the pain and injury to animals which accompany rodeo events such as calf-roping, steer-wrestling and bareback bronco riding," she says.

"It took a long time for the summer weather to get started this year and many people are now understandably keen to spend as much time as possible out in the open. We don't want to be kill-joys but there really are much better ways of enjoying yourself out of doors than watching animals suffer," she says.


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