Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: SAFE NZ
Rodeo veterinarian reports obtained under the Official Information Act show that about 30 injuries and one death have occurred at rodeo events so far this season (up until 20 February). The injuries recorded include lacerations, injury to horns, lameness and choking injuries.
Some of the more serious injuries included a bull who knocked the right horn off his head after hitting his head on the railings at the Wanaka rodeo. For comparison, dehorning, a surgical procedure used to remove horns from a bull, can result in significant acute pain without anaesthesia or pain relief.
A calf roping event at the Far North rodeo caused a calf to choke on the rope, and a bull was euthanised at the Mid Northern rodeo after a spontaneous injury in the yards.
SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe said the reports paint a bleak picture for animals abused at New Zealand rodeo events.
“Some of these injuries would have been extremely painful,” said Appelbe. “We are concerned about the treatment of the animals at these events, which are held in the name of ‘entertainment’.”
Many of the reports contained little information about the circumstances that caused an injury. Three reports, from the Gisborne rodeo, Millers Flat rodeo and Omarama rodeo, contained no notes whatsoever.
“These reports make it clear that rodeo events place animals in harmful situations where there’s a high probability of injury,” said Appelbe. “SAFE is seriously concerned by the lack of transparency as details are sparse in some of these reports.”
“We’ve launched a petition calling on the Government to ban the cruellest aspects of rodeo. Animals are suffering at rodeo events and Government action on this is long overdue.”
SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights organisation.
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– The rodeo season continues this weekend at Waimarino.
– SAFE’s petition is calling on the Associate Minister of Agriculture (Animal Welfare) Hon Meka Whaitiri, on behalf of the House of Representatives, to prohibit the use of bucking (flank) straps, electric prods, tail twisting, spurs, animal wrestling, team roping and calves under 12 months old in New Zealand rodeo events.
– Footage from Methven and Winchester rodeos, October 2020.
– Hi-res photos of rodeo cruelty.
– The report said NAWAC had “serious concerns” over the “substantial negative impacts” on animals used in steer wrestling and calf roping. They also stated that bucking events, which use horses, bulls and steers, “have a variety of negative impacts” on the animals.
– 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.
– A majority (59%) of the respondents in a 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. The new club was not investigated following these deaths.