Rodeo at Central Hawke's Bay A&P Show will go ahead after petition to ban event fails

By Alice Lock -
6 comments
Shane Bird, New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association North Island club director, said they would continue as usual after the petition was rejected by government.
Shane Bird, New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association North Island club director, said they would continue as usual after the petition was rejected by government.

The Parklee Bullride at the Central Hawke's Bay A and P Show tomorrow is set to go ahead after the government announced rodeos would not be banned.

A petition led by animal welfare groups was supported by 62,000 New Zealanders to express their concerns about the cruelty of animals.

North Island Rodeo Club director, Shane Bird, said the government had clearly looked at the petition and made the decision to take no action so it was business as usual.

"We are governed by the rules of the National Animal Welfare Committee (NAWC) and by sticking to these rules we are not being cruel to animals. We are doing exactly what they tell us."

A Rodeos Code of Welfare includes requirements such as animals being inspected by a vet before performing, and that they be handled in a way to reduce distress.

The Ministry of Primary Industries has an enforcement role to ensure the welfare code is being met, and told NAWC that compliance was sufficient.

SAFE said this announcement came as a huge disappointment to both the animals and public who wanted the ban.

Head of SAFE campaigns, Mandy Carter, said: "Animals in rodeo are simply terrified. This cannot be overstated. For the committee to ignore all the evidence of cruelty to animals - and the wishes of the majority of the public - is deplorable."

The animal welfare groups are asking people to boycott rodeos in the upcoming season and SAFE have asked people to boycott the Parklee Bullride in Waipukurau tomorrow.

CHB Mayor, Alex Walker said she had been a spectator and on the other side of the fence so had seen how the rodeos were operated first-hand.

"I have the greatest respect and trust that what they are doing is for the safety of both the animals and the people."

Jasmine Gray, from Farmwatch said, they had filmed at many rodeos during the last three seasons and found the animals were terrified and distressed by being forced to participate in these events.

"We have seen animals being punched, kicked and electrically prodded. This not acceptable for entertainment," Ms Gray said.

Mr Bird said the signs of distress came down to their own interpretation.

"They showed the videos to the Ministry of Primary Industries who found there were no signs of distress."

Mr Bird said the bulls used in the rodeos were bred on a farm like every other bull and there was no real training involved.

"It is like a horse, every horse can run without training and every bull can buck, it just depends if they have the heart to do it."

The animal welfare groups are vowing to continue the campaign and yesterday held a rally led by SAFE, Farmwatch and Green MP Mojo Mathers outside parliament.

SAFE campaigns and policy officer Stephen Manson, said about 30 people gathered on the front lawn while Ms Mathers and Ms Gray spoke to the crowd.

"We are all pretty angry as there has been no change in response to the petition. Submissions showed that the animals were suffering for the sake of a fun day out and for select committee to say that is fine, is wrong."

Mr Bird encouraged people to come to the event and said people who wanted to stop rodeos had always been there and it was their own opinion, which was not going to stop them.

For more articles from this region, go to

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 23 Feb 2017 00:17:58 Processing Time: 643ms