Rodeo is an archaic form of entertainment that results in the injuries and deaths of rodeo animals. Several were killed in New Zealand rodeos this year, and several also died last year.
It is difficult to determine the number as these deaths and injuries are often not reported. One horse's death went unreported until a rodeo insider revealed its death.
I went to the Lawrence rodeo in January of 2018, so I am familiar with New Zealand rodeos. I am a former bronc rider and former large-animal veterinarian who treated rodeo horses.
Roping calves causes hidden injuries. Dr Robert Bay, a veterinarian from Colorado, euthanased several roping calves to study their injuries. He found haemorrhage, torn ligaments and cartilage, torn and bruised muscles, damaged trachea and damaged thyroid glands in the neck.
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Meat inspectors Charles Haber and Robert Fetzner found multiple damages in rodeo steers at slaughter plants near Cheyenne, Wyoming.
These injuries included broken bones, torn muscles, damaged ligamentum nuchae in the neck, damaged internal organs and blood in the peritoneal cavity.
These animals obviously were in extreme pain before they were killed.
Horses and bulls risk broken bones from bucking beyond their normal bucking patterns. The flank strap and spurs cause the extreme bucking.
If you want to have a rodeo based on normal animal behaviour, stop the calf-roping, get rid of the spurs and ban the flank strap. Without these devices, animals will no longer be injured or die in the arena.
PEGGY W LARSON DVM MS JD