Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: SAFE For Animals
The New Zealand Animal Law Association (NZALA) and SAFE have filed proceedings against the Minister of Agriculture and the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) for their failure to end rodeo events.
NZALA and SAFE said rodeo activities violate the Animal Welfare Act 1999. This is the second time the two organisations have filed Court proceedings to challenge Codes of Welfare.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton said rodeo events cause pain and distress to animals.
“Every year they cause torn ligaments, broken bones, bruising and internal damage. These injuries can be so severe that bulls and horses are killed.
“The Government has been too slow to take action on rodeo, so now we’re taking this issue to court.”
NZALA and SAFE filed Judicial Review Proceedings in 2019, challenging the continued use of farrowing crates for mother pigs. In a Judgement released in November 2020, the High Court ruled that the Minister of Agriculture and NAWAC acted illegally when they failed to phase out farrowing crates.
NZALA President Saar Cohen said, “In 2018, NZALA put the regulators on notice about the problematic legal status of rodeo.”
“It is now time to ask the Court for guidance on this legal issue. As lawyers, we are concerned that rodeo activities such as steer wrestling or calf roping are allowed to continue despite being inconsistent with the Act.”
There has been growing criticism of rodeo in public opinion. Two bulls were killed during rodeo events in the 2019/2020 season. A bull was euthanised at the Mid Northern rodeo after an injury during the 2020/2021 season.
SAFE commissioned a Horizon Research opinion poll in June 2020, which found that 51 per cent of respondents would support a ban on the use of animals in rodeo in New Zealand. Twenty-five per cent were opposed to a ban. When respondents were asked if they agreed with the statement that “Rodeo, causes pain and suffering to animals, and it is not worth causing this pain and suffering for the sake of entertainment,” 66 per cent agreed.
SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights organisation.
We’re creating a future that ensures the rights of animals are respected. Our core work empowers society to make kinder choices for ourselves, animals and our planet.
NZALA is a coalition of lawyers, law students and law graduates working to improve the welfare and lives of animals through the legal system.
– Footage from Methven and Winchester rodeos, October 2020.
– High resolution 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 2017 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.