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Two Animals Killed During The Current Rodeo Season

RNZ Checkpoint last week reported that the rodeo industry has killed two animals during the current rodeo season.

Information recently obtained by animal rights organisation SAFE reveals two bulls were killed at ‘Mad Bull’ rodeo events in November and December. The first bull was killed after his back was injured, and the second after his leg was caught in a pen. This is the Mad Bull Rodeo Club’s first season. The club is affiliated to the New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association.

SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe says animal deaths at rodeo are an inevitability.

"These deaths are appalling news, but sadly it was only a matter of time until more animals were killed at New Zealand rodeo events," says Appelbe.

"When animals are bullied and abused in rodeo events, they’re at risk of injury and death. Bulls are normally docile prey animals, and they experience significant distress when they’re forced to participate in rodeo events."

"It’s also seriously concerning that a new club has killed two animals in its first season."

Green MP Gareth Hughes recently renewed his party’s calls for the Labour Party to fulfil their pre-election promise. Before the last election, Labour promised it would ban flank straps, calf roping and several other elements of rodeo if elected. In a statement to RNZ, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said while they haven’t scrapped plans to address flank straps, they have no plans to introduce new regulations for rodeo events.

"It’s become increasingly unclear what the Labour Party’s position on rodeo is. Before being elected to government, the party had a number of animal welfare policies which included a ban on the cruellest aspects of rodeo. We’re now heading into another election and voters will understandably want action on important promises for animals."

"With some political willpower, this government could make a real difference for animals in Aotearoa."

SAFE Media Centre.

SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights 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.

Notes for editors:

- Link to RNZ article.

- A bull was killed at each of the first two ‘Mad Bull’ rodeo events in Otago. The first bull was euthanised on 30 November 2019 after he injured his back while bucking. The second bull was euthanised on 7 December 2019 after he broke his leg when it got caught in the rail of the pen. There is one more Mad Bull rodeo scheduled for 4 April 2020.

- The Mad Bull rodeo is run by a new rodeo club, and this is the first season they’ve been operating. The Mad Bull Rodeo Club is affiliated to the New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association (NZRCA). The rodeo is held on property in Otago owned by James Adams, who is on the NZRCA board of directors.

- High-resolution photos and footage of rodeo cruelty.

- Before the last election, the Labour Party promised to end the use of calves under 12 months of age, flank straps, electric prods, rope burning and tail twisting at rodeo events.

- More than half (59%) of the respondents in a Horizon Research survey said they would support a ban on using animals in rodeos in New Zealand.

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