SAFE looks to the Far North

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Save An­i­mals from Ex­ploita­tion (SAFE) is “deeply frus­trated” that two rodeo events will take place in the Far North this sum­mer, de­spite wide­spread calls for a na­tional ban.

The Far North Rodeo is in Kaitaia on Jan­u­ary 2, and the O¯ ruru Val­ley Rodeo at O¯ ruru the fol­low­ing day.

SAFE’s head of cam­paigns, Mar­i­anne Mac­don­ald, says rodeo par­tic­i­pants abused an­i­mals in the name of ‘en­ter­tain­ment’.

“The horses and cat­tle made to per­form in rodeo events are tame, and nor­mally docile an­i­mals, of­ten riled up to give an ag­gres­sive dis­play be­fore be­ing forced into the ring. Vul­ner­a­ble young calves are par­tic­u­larly mis­treated in the so­called ‘rope and tie’ (calf rop­ing) events,” she said.

“In calf rop­ing, calves are chased down by bul­lies on horse­back, wrenched off their feet and thrown to the ground, only to be left im­mo­bile and dis­tressed af­ter hav­ing their legs tied to­gether. To be pur­sued in this way is fright­en­ing for any an­i­mal, es­pe­cially a baby.”

The rodeo sea­son had al­ready had its first ca­su­alty, a horse dy­ing at the Methven Rodeo in Oc­to­ber, just weeks af­ter the New Zealand Rodeo Cow­boys’ As­so­ci­a­tion in­tro­duced new ‘sug­gested prac­tices’ in re­sponse to grow­ing an­i­mal wel­fare con­cerns at rodeo events.

“De­spite the new sug­gested prac­tices, an­i­mal wel­fare has clearly not been ad­e­quately ad­dressed,” Ms Mac­don­ald said.

“Even when an­i­mals aren’t killed, they en­dure sig­nif­i­cant pain and dis­tress.

“Rodeo is con­demned in New Zealand and in­ter­na­tion­ally by vets and an­i­mal wel­fare ex­perts. The re­cent NAWAC re­port on rodeo events stated that they have a va­ri­ety of neg­a­tive im­pacts on the an­i­mals forced into the ring, and the Greens and Labour both have poli­cies re­flect­ing the tide of pub­lic opin­ion, which is in­creas­ingly turn­ing against rodeo cru­elty.”

SAFE was call­ing on lo­cal res­i­dents to avoid the Far North events, and en­cour­aged ev­ery­one who was con­cerned about an­i­mal cru­elty to email the Prime Min­is­ter, de­mand­ing that rodeo be banned.

PIC­TURE / SAFE

A calf comes to the end of its run at last year’s Mid North­ern Rodeo.

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