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World car manufacturer accused of rodeo brutality

1 April 2004

World car manufacturer accused of rodeo brutality

One of the world's leading car manufacturers and dealerships has been told to buckle up its image by withdrawing its sponsorship of New Zealand rodeo events. National animal advocacy organisation SAFE has asked the Ford Motor Company to explain the rationale behind their support of events such as rodeos that deliberately harm and torment animals.

"It's fair to say the Ford Motor Company takes the design and manufacture of safe and comfortable motor vehicles extremely seriously. How then can they align themselves with the abusive and traumatic events often demonstrated within the rodeo arena?" says SAFE Campaign Director Hans Kriek.

"Whiplash and upper body injuries are common in high-impact motor vehicle accidents. Cars are typically designed to reduce painful trauma such accidents through the use of air bags and internal vehicle modifications. Rodeo animals, especially steers and calves, are likely to sustain painful neck, leg and spinal injuries from high-impact trauma during brutal events such as steer wrestling and calf roping."

"Will the Ford Motor Company offer air bags and other safety devices to vulnerable rodeo animals to help reduce the risk of lacerations, bruising, fractures and trauma? I¹m sure terrified calves forced to run at high speed until lassoed and thrown to the ground will not be afforded the comfort of air bags from Ford."

Last year during the Waikouaiti rodeo sponsored by Ford, a white stallion sustained a broken back while trying to buck its rider. The animal was dragged out of the arena and killed.

Unless the Ford Motor Company immediately withdraws its sponsorship, SAFE anti-rodeo campaigners will demonstrate outside the main Ford dealership in Dunedin in opposition to the proposed Ford-sponsored rodeo in Waikouaiti over Easter weekend.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY ACTION AGAINST BRUTALITY Commences at 2pm, Saturday, 3 April 2004 at the Ford Dunedin dealership, Cnr Andersons Bay and Mac Andrew Road, Dunedin.

ENDS

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