Petition to ban rodeos reaches Parliament

A group of over 40 animal activists rally outside the Whangarei Rodeo in January this year. Photo / Supplied
A group of over 40 animal activists rally outside the Whangarei Rodeo in January this year. Photo / Supplied

Animal rights groups will be outside Parliament today petitioning to stop rodeo in New Zealand.

SAFE, SPCA and Farmwatch groups along with a petition attracting 60,000 signatures, were calling on the Government to put an end to rodeo.

The petition will be taken to Parliament by Green Party MP Mojo Mathers.

The organisations argued rodeo was "unethical and inherently cruel", as animals are grabbed, chased, wrestled and roped in aggressive manner that could result in painful injuries.

A horse and bull have died as a result of rodeo in the recent 2015/2016 season, SAFE stated.

SAFE executive director Hans Kriek said animals in rodeos are put under severe stress and are forced to perform.

"Unaware that it is 'just for entertainment', some will genuinely fear for their lives, and with good reason given recent deaths."

He said the Rodeo Code of Welfare was "largely ineffective and regularly broken".

"It's time for the Government to step up and listen to what people are asking for. Rodeos serve no place in New Zealand and are nothing short of abuse for people's entertainment," he said.

Green Party MP Mojo Mathers said rodeo was both outdated and cruel.

" ... it's not the kind of 'entertainment' we should be promoting in New Zealand.

"Calves have been terrorised by 'cowboys' on horseback, who catch them, throw them to the ground and tie them up so they can't move. We would never treat kittens or puppies this way - why is it okay for calves?," she said.

Animal rights activists, Direct Animal Action have protested at rodeos throughout the summer calling them "cruel" and "inhumane".

"We're so pleased this petition has given Kiwis a chance to stand up against animal cruelty," Direct Animal Action spokesperson Kathleen Lafferty said.

- NZ Herald

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