Three deaths in three days prompts renewed calls for an end to rodeo – SAFE

The deaths of three animals in rodeo events, mere weeks into the current season, has prompted renewed demands from SAFE for the Government to urgently ban rodeo.
Information recently obtained by animal rights organisation SAFE reveals two bulls and a horse have died in rodeo events between 28 and 30 December 2022. The first bull was killed on December 28 after breaking his leg in the arena in Opotiki, and the second on December 30 after sustaining a spinal injury in Te Anau.
Also on December 30, at Rerewhakaaitu, a horse died after throwing a rider off and having a seizure in the arena.
Last weekends’ Canterbury rodeo saw significant injury, with a horse suffering degloving after their leg got stuck in the rails of the chute.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton said deaths and traumatic injuries at rodeo are an inevitability.
“These deaths are appalling news, but sadly it was only a matter of time until we saw the real horror of rodeo illustrated in the deaths of animals,” said Ashton.
“Regardless, it is seriously concerning that despite assurances from the Rodeo Cowboys Association that animal welfare is of the highest importance to the industry, three animals have been killed within just three days.”
Ashton said it was now imperative the Government intervene to ban rodeo.
“The rodeo industry has time and time again downplayed the deaths and injuries suffered by animals used in rodeo as either ‘regrettable’ mistakes or one-off incidents.”
“In 2017, the Labour Party promised to ban some of the worst aspects of rodeo. We’re now heading into another election, and New Zealanders will understandably want action on important promises for animals.”
“Thousands of animals suffer each summer at these events, and ultimately, the only way to protect animals is to ban rodeo.”


  1. It requires real empathy to understand that rodeos are physical and mental torture for the animals forced to take part just for human entertainment and must be stopped not just as promised to review the ” worst aspects “. This government does not have empathy to stop the economic torture their policies encourage through neo liberalism on human beings so why would they care about the appalling loss of life and mental torture that rodeos symbolize.

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