Animal rights organisation SAFE will be protesting at the annual Martinborough Bucking Bulls rodeo event in the Wairarapa.
The Martinborough Bucking Bulls is part of the annual rodeo season, which last year saw four animals killed at events across the country. A horse was killed at last year’s Methven Rodeo, along with a horse and a bull at the Gisborne rodeo, and a horse at the Grand Final rodeo in North Canterbury. SAFE will be hosting a peaceful protest tomorrow to stand up for the bullied and abused animals at the Martinborough Bucking Bulls.
SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe says the treatment of animals at rodeo events such as the Bucking Bulls is appalling to most Kiwis.
“Every year at the Martinborough Bucking Bulls, normally docile animals are bullied, abused or killed by so-called ‘cowboys’,” says Appelbe.
“Most people don’t realise that we’ve bred bulls to be docile. They’re prey animals, so being ridden by a ‘cowboy’ makes them feel as if a predator has jumped on their back. They’re already riled up before the event and fitted with uncomfortable flank straps, which forces them to buck wildly.”
A Horizon Research poll taken in 2016 showed that the majority of Kiwis supported a ban on rodeo events such as the Bucking Bulls. The now governing Labour Party campaigned during the last general election on a promise to ban the use of calves under 12 months of age, flank straps, electric prods and rope burning at rodeo events. However, Labour is yet to uphold this promise.
“The treatment of bulls at rodeos is bullying. We’re a nation of animal lovers. We love our cats, our dogs, our horses and all the other animals that we share this land with. These bulls should be treated with the same kindness and respect that we bestow on all the other animals we love.”
“We’ll be making a stand tomorrow and giving our voices to all the bullied and abused animals at the Martinborough Bucking Bulls. We hope that everyone in the Wairarapa region who loves animals stays away from this weekend’s event.”