Despite the Government giving rodeos four years of leeway to continue breaching the Animal Welfare Act, despite the huge cost to the taxpayer for expert committees - reports, meetings, paperwork and MPI officers attending every rodeo - for the animals, it's meant little.
They still die, still suffer injuries, are still choked at the end of a rope, still spurred in the neck and shoulders, still get their legs pulled out from under them, still get their necks twisted 180 degrees and are still subjected to a bucking (flank) strap.
Clubs claim animals are well looked after but the claims are not borne out by their own vet reports. Common sense also tells us that roughhousing animals, as rodeos do, is the antithesis of looking after.
We recently obtained some of the current season's vet reports. It was astounding to see that a number of vets had written nothing, or next to nothing, in the notes. Those who did write turned away animals that were too light to use or had overlong hooves, and a significant number of lame animals that clubs and contractors had presented for events.
At Rerewhakaaitu Rodeo Club, seven of 21 horses were lame and rejected.
They also listed many injuries. One bull suffered a catastrophic injury in the yards, with a query about spontaneous fracture or slipped disc, noting an ataxic immobile hind leg. He was euthanised. Another bull trapped a hind leg outside a gate while kicking, no doubt in panic, and suffered moderate injuries at the new Mad Bull club where two bulls died two weekends in succession last season, their first. Another bull jumped out of a holding pen, resulting in injury and lameness.
Other animals received puncture wounds, lacerations, gashes. Some suffered bilateral spur cuts, including from children, injuries above or below eyes after bucking blind and smashing into fences.
A calf was "choked a bit with rope", with the suggestion to "monitor breathing and any swelling at throat".
Another calf in calf roping suffered a sprained hind leg. Another was flipped off all four legs when roped.
A calf in breakaway roping was rendered lame, needing antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Another calf was lame after a gate incident.
A bull at Wānaka knocked a horn right off his head as he reacted in the chute. One distressed and panicked horse cut their leg in railings and went down in the chute, something activists have filmed many times. He or she was deemed "not handleable" at that point.
One bronc suffered a gash to the forehead that exposed connective tissue on the surface of the skull.
There were split horn tips, a hoof wall break with bleeding, injuries to ribs that required pain relief from crashing into fences. Another horse fell and treatment was recommended for muscle pain. Others were given bute, a masking agent.
Another bronc, 17 years old, was rendered lame after the event, both knees showing abnormal motion, with the suggestion of chronic arthritis and a recommendation that the horse be retired. The rodeo association has not confirmed the fate of this horse, but it's likely he or she was euthanised.
Animals in rodeos are there to become distressed: that's how rodeos work. You make them panic, flee and thrash. It's no surprise that more thorough note-keeping showed up some of these injuries.
The extreme physicality of rodeos can only result in injury and pain. How some vet reports recorded nothing, needs to be explained. We call upon the Government to stop pussyfooting around with rodeos and put a stop to them, immediately.
• Lynn Charlton is the spokesperson for Anti Rodeo Action NZ