Troubled Rodeo Club Ought To Be Reined In
Two animal rights organisations are demanding the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) cancel a Dunedin rodeo following the deaths of two animals.
SAFE and Direct Animal Action are calling for MPI to conduct an audit of the ‘Mad Bull’ rodeo club following the deaths of two bulls, one at each of the club’s first two rodeo events. This is the club’s first season, and both animal rights organisations are urging the club’s third event be cancelled pending the audit.
SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe says the rodeo club has had a troubling first season.
"This club has killed a bull at each of its first two events. This is a pattern we can't ignore," says Appelbe.
"MPI should not allow this club to run another event until it has been fully audited and the Ministry has checked all of the club’s processes."
Direct Animal Action spokesperson Stephanie Koks agrees, saying "The fact that this rodeo club has killed two animals already in its first season should sound alarm bells for anyone with responsibilities for animal welfare."
"That responsibility falls with MPI, and they owe it to animals to urgently audit the Mad Bull rodeo club," Koks says.
The Urenui rodeo also faced criticism recently when footage emerged of an event that breached the rodeo code of welfare’s minimum standards. The footage showed a ‘cowboy’ wrestling a steer by twisting its head and neck for longer than the thirty-second time limit. New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association spokesperson Lyal Cocks has since admitted that this breached the minimum standards.
"Breaches of the minimum standards are common. Activists who attend rodeo events witness them often and these breaches usually go unpunished," says Appelbe.
"The reality is that the rodeo code of welfare allows organisers to get away with a lot of animal cruelty. It’s time the Government stopped floundering on the issue and finally banned rodeo in Aotearoa."