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Animals Will Be At Risk Of Injury Or Death During Rodeo Opening Weekend

The annual rodeo season opens this weekend with the Winchester Rodeo on Saturday, and the Methven Rodeo on Sunday. Like last year, animals will be at risk of injury or death. Two animals died last rodeo season, both at the ‘Mad Bull’ rodeo in Otago.

SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe said the treatment of animals at rodeo events is appalling to most Kiwis.

"Every year, young calves, bulls and horses are abused and killed by so-called ‘cowboys,’" said Appelbe.

"We’re a nation of animal lovers. It’s not surprising then that a 2016 Horizon Research poll showed that the majority of Kiwis supported a ban on rodeo."

While organisers are marketing the events as ‘family-friendly,’ many Kiwis are actively seeking a ban, claiming rodeo events promote bullying and glorify violence. Yesterday, Direct Animal Action presented a petition to the Rodney Local Board with over 5,000 signatures, asking them to ban the Warkworth Rodeo and other rodeo events on council land, parks and reserves under the management of the local board.

In 2017, the Labour Party promised to ban the use of calves under 12 months of age, bucking straps, electric prods and rope burning at rodeo events.

"Voters have given Labour a clear mandate, and it’s time for action on this issue."

- Hi-res photos and footage of rodeo cruelty.

- Before the last election, Labour promised to end the use of calves under 12 months of age, bucking straps (also known as flank straps), electric prods and rope burning at rodeo events.

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

- Two bulls were killed at ‘Mad Bull’ rodeo events in November and December 2019. The first bull was killed after his back was injured, and the second after his leg was caught in a pen. Last year was the Mad Bull Rodeo Club’s first season. No investigation was made into the new club following these deaths.

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