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Hard hitting anti-rodeo ad goes nationwide

7 March 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

Hard hitting anti-rodeo ad goes nationwide

As the New Zealand rodeo season draws to a close with the Wanaka rodeo finals this weekend, SAFE is ensuring that this form of animal cruelty remains in the spotlight by launching a hard-hitting nationwide campaign.

This campaign includes a cinema advertisement campaign and striking billboards, comparing the cruelty of calf roping with the same treatment if it were done to a dog.

“While dog roping doesn’t happen, something equally abhorrent does. Vulnerable young animals are being tormented in calf roping events across New Zealand. They are forced to burst out of a chute at top speed, chased by a rider on horseback, wrenched to an abrupt halt with a choking rope around the neck, and slammed on the ground where three legs are trussed together. If the same thing was done to dogs it would be banned immediately,” says Mandy Carter, campaigns director.

The six-month 2017/18 rodeo season has seen a huge upsurge in public condemnation of rodeo. Local people have held peaceful protests outside ten rodeos and there has been vigorous debate across New Zealand. Following on from companies withdrawing sponsorship in previous seasons, additional high profile companies have distanced themselves from rodeo including Foodstuffs – owners of New World and Pak’nSave – and Z Energy.

“It doesn’t take an animal welfare expert to see the distress inflicted by rodeo events. Obvious signs of stress in roped calves are commonly witnessed, including bellowing, showing the whites of their eyes and having their tongue hanging out.”

“Science also shows that calves suffer in rodeo. The most recent study on calf roping concluded that these young animals suffer an ‘acute stress response’. Additionally, the rodeo code of welfare recommends that ‘calves should not be used in rodeo events’."

“Our Animal Welfare Act calls for animals to be handled in a way that minimises pain and distress. Yet rodeo by its very nature contravenes this and shames us as a nation.”

“The new Government is looking at the use of calves and we look forward to them upholding their pre-election promise to ban the use of animals under 12 months, flank straps, rope burning and the use of electronic prods.”

For the Editor
• The cinema ad is here.
• A high res photo of the billboard is here.
• Footage of NZ rodeo during the 2017/18 season (with text and music) is here.
• Footage shot at New Zealand rodeos during calf roping and calf riding events shows the distress and fear exhibited by these young animals.
• High res photos of calf roping are here and calf riding are here.
• Photos from NZ rodeo events can be found on SAFE's Flickrpage.
• New Zealand’s National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) say they have serious concerns regarding calf roping. According to the 2014 Code of Welfare, page 10 'calves should not be used in rodeo events.'
• Calf Roping study: "Behavioral and Physiological Responses of Calves to Marshalling and Roping in a Simulated Rodeo Event", published by the Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics of the University of Queensland.
• Calf roping is already banned in Victoria and South Australia, Brazil, Germany and Vancouver (Canada), the UK, and parts of the US.
• Over 62,000 people signed a petition last year calling for a complete rodeo ban and a Horizon Research poll showed that 59% of Kiwis want to see an end to rodeo (only 25% wanted this cruel entertainment to remain), while 63% support a ban on calf roping (only 20% wanted calf roping to remain).
• Protests have been held by local people at the following rodeos in the 2017/18 season: Canterbury, Taupo, Kimbolton, Martinborough, Outram, Urenui, Hunterville, Warkworth, Mid Northern (Whangarei) and Waikato (Kihikihi).
• Information about rodeo events and the animal suffering they cause is here.
• There are over 35 rodeos held in New Zealand each year, but the number is falling. Last season Richmond rodeo folded, with Huntly rodeo closing the previous year.
• SPCA have a policy against all rodeo events.

SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal advocacy organisation. We're working towards a world where animals are understood and respected in such a way that they are no longer exploited, abused or made to suffer.


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