SPCA launches site to shut down rodeo

Montreal Gazette - - CITY -

De­scrib­ing a rodeo planned as part of Mon­treal’s 375th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion as “a bar­baric ac­tiv­ity,” the Mon­treal SPCA has launched a web­site aimed at mar­shalling pub­lic opin­ion against the event and per­suad­ing the city to can­cel it.

Chris­tened no­torodeo.com, the web­site’s pe­ti­tion against the event re­ceived close to 2,000 sig­na­tures within hours of be­ing un­veiled Thurs­day morn­ing. The online cam­paign is the lat­est salvo in a bat­tle against the rodeo by the an­i­mal wel­fare group since the start of the year, af­ter the No­mad­fest, which bills it­self as an “ur­ban rodeo,” found it­self trans­formed into a po­lit­i­cal hot potato for Mon­treal city hall. The event is sched­uled to be held in the Old Port in Au­gust.

The SPCA con­tends rodeos in gen­eral sub­ject an­i­mals to un­due stress and “un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing.” Or­ga­niz­ers of the event have coun­tered that the an­i­mals are well treated, such high-im­pact events as calf rop­ing and chuck­wagon events are not on the agenda and the rodeo will al­low spec­ta­tors to re­con­nect with the land.

Pro­jet Mon­tréal, the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion at city hall, has also ex­pressed con­cerns about the rodeo, ques­tion­ing the ef­fects on the an­i­mals in­volved and the event’s rel­e­vance to the city’s 375th an­niver­sary.

The out­cry over the rodeo has so far caused the Loblaw food chain, a ma­jor spon­sor of the city’s 375th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions to pull its brand from No­mad­Fest event.

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