Animal activists have gathered at today's Warkworth Rodeo protesting the event as cruel entertainment.

More than 50 people, including locals, joined Direct Animal Action to show their opposition to the rodeo.

The group want a government-led national ban on rodeo events which are regular during the summer holidays.

Spokesperson Kathleen Lafferty said the events were incredibly cruel to animals.

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"Over the last two seasons four animals have died because of injuries sustained during rodeo events," Lafferty said.

"In December, a horse died and only two weeks ago a bull broke his leg and was euthanised."

A petition by the SPCA, Safe and Farmwatch is now at 42,000 signatures.

The group have another protest planned for a Waikato rodeo later this month.