Lions Clubs across New Zealand are being told to cut ties with rodeos after concerns the organisation was profiting from animal cruelty.
The community volunteer organisation was taken to task by the New Zealand Anti-Rodeo Coalition after money from ticket sales to a Methven Rodeo went to the local Lions club.
Members of the anti-rodeo lobby encouraged people to contact Lions Clubs New Zealand to voice concerns about the rodeo and the club's involvement.
Lions' national leadership yesterday moved to distance itself from rodeo, advising clubs throughout New Zealand to disassociate from them.
"Lions Clubs New Zealand does not support or condone any cruelty towards animals, and due to the level of concern from the public, will not support Lions Clubs to participate in any profiting or provide support for rodeo using the Lions Clubs New Zealand and/or Lions Clubs International brand," it said. .
The national body thanked those who contacted the organisation and the anti-rodeo coalition for raising the issue with Lions.
The anti-rodeo coalition praised the u-turn, saying the Lions organisation had "made us proud to be Kiwis once again" in standing up against "bullies and animal abuse".