Animal advocacy group SAFE is disappointed Hamilton City Council made a moral decision to cancel an Erotica Expo but is unmoved by continued animal cruelty at rodeos.
The group is disappointed and angered by the council's inaction over the controversial International Rodeo. SAFE campaign manager Mandy Carter says despite hearing of animal welfare issues associated with rodeos the council has decided to blatantly ignore the wish of both local residents and animal welfare supporters to ban the rodeo from taking place at Claudelands Arena.
"They've put financial concerns ahead of ethics. The decision is especially baffling as Hamilton Mayor Hardaker is chairperson of the local SPCA, an organisation strongly opposed to rodeos."
SAFE asked the council not to allow rodeo events at Claudelands as they abuse animals, but in correspondence the council has told SAFE that they will allow the rodeo back - this despite Auckland council banning rodeos in 2008.
"Hamilton council has already set a precedent for taking the moral 'high ground' by banning a proposed Erotica expo."
Mandy Carter says the International Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the country and includes loud music, fireworks and pyrotechnics so, along with the usual torment, goading and brutal treatment animals endure, they must also contend with fear, stress and anxiety caused by loud noise and bright lights.
"Rodeos are merely a cruel display of man's dominance and abuse of animals which are forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called entertainment. There is simply no excuse."
Mandy says children attending the rodeo will witness animals being terrorised and ill-treated, seemingly with adult approval.
Conditioning children into accepting such violence will have dire consequences for our society in the future, given the strong links between animal and human abuse. "Hamilton Council has missed a real opportunity to make a difference," she says.