This Saturday, so-called ‘cowboys’ will put animals at risk of injury or death at the ‘Mad Bull’ rodeo in Otago and the WFL Bull Ride Martinborough. Two bulls were killed at the Mad Bull rodeo last year, and another was killed at the Martinborough bull ride in 2018.
The petition SAFE launches today demands a ban on the worst aspects of rodeo.
SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe says rodeo events cause pain, fear and distress to animals.
“Every year, rodeo events cause torn ligaments, broken bones, bruising and internal damage,” says Appelbe. “The injuries can be so severe that bulls and horses are killed.”
The petition is aimed at the Minister responsible for animal welfare, Meka Whaitiri. In 2018, the Minister directed the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) to produce a report on rodeo.
The report said NAWAC had ‘serious concerns’ over the ‘substantial negative impacts’ on animals used in steer wrestling and calf roping. They also said that bucking events ‘have a variety of negative impacts’ on the horses, bulls and steers used.
“In 2017, the Labour Party promised to ban some of the worst aspects of rodeo. Voters have now given them a clear mandate, and action is long overdue,” says Appelbe.
“Rodeos are inconsistent with Kiwi values. We encourage all New Zealanders to send a clear message to the Government by signing our petition.”