PREVIOUS RODEO DECISION IN AUCKLAND CITY STAYS
SAFE is delighted that the Auckland Council has sent a strong signal that it does not condone or support rodeo by announcing that a previous decision not to allow rodeos on council land will now stay in place.
Last week the council said they would be abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008, due to a new events policy. This was done with virtually no public consultation and caused uproar in the community.
Council staff have now said that the previous Auckland City resolution on rodeo was not overturned by the new Events Policy.
“This is really great news for animals. Rodeo causes immense suffering with animals very fearful for their lives,” says head of campaigns Mandy Carter. “It is also important that the council consult with rate payers when making significant changes like this.”
In a statement the council said “A decision by a former council that did not allow rodeos to take place on council land is still in place and can be given consideration by decision makers.The decision was made by the former Auckland City Council in relation to its concerns for animal welfare. In recent weeks, some members of the public have expressed concern that this had been superseded by the council’s new Auckland Council Events policy. However the council says that is not the case and that the events policy only sets out who is responsible for making the decision for regarding events on public land.“
Auckland's only annual rodeo is held in Warkworth. SAFE will be urging the council to extend the ban outside the old city boundaries and asking local boards to make sure they continue to ensure it doesn't happen and that they uphold the wishes of Aucklanders.
AUCKLAND COUNCIL BYPASSES PUBLIC, DITCHES RODEO BAN
The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation.
The new Supercity council has claimed that the law does not provide for councils taking action on animal welfare. However, the former Auckland City Council had implemented a ban on rodeos on public land, after public outcry in 2008.
"By overturning the existing rodeo ban without properly consulting the public and without discussing options, they are clearly trying to keep the public away from this issue," says Ms. Carter.
Auckland's only annual rodeo is held in Warkworth. Earlier this year footage shot by investigators at the Huntly rodeo showed rough treatment, especially of young animals, at rodeo. Men were observed grabbing, yanking and shoving baby calves, horses and bulls were slammed into fences, calves roped and slammed into the ground at high speeds and a bull kicked in the head and neck.
SAFE says subjecting animals to fear, stress, risk of injury and death, all for the sake of entertainment must be stopped.
"It's wrong to subject animals to pain and distress for entertainment," says Mandy Carter, "and it is shocking that the council has changed the rules without consulting the public."
SAFE will be investigating the Council's handling of the issue.
In the meantime, SAFE is urging the public to write to Mayor Len Brown asking him to review the removal of the ban.
Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mayor Brown,
I was very disturbed to hear that the Auckland Council has removed the rodeo ban on council land without any public consultation.
I felt proud that Auckland was standing up for animals by not allowing this cruelty to take place. It is well known that animals suffer fear and stress in rodeo and risk injury and death. This is unacceptable, and especially so because it is an outdated form of entertainment.
I urge you to go through a proper consultation period with the public, so people are able to put across their own views and have their say on this issue.
Cruelty for a buck - rodeo cruelty 2014
New footage shot by investigators at the local Huntly rodeo shows rough treatment, especially of young animals, at rodeo.
- Grown men were observed grabbing, yanking and shoving baby calves. The witness was told by the rodeo owner that they were to be sent to slaughter soon after the rodeo.
- Horses and bulls slammed into fences.
- Pulling and twisting of steer's heads.
- Calves roped and slammed into the ground at high speeds.
- Kicking of a bull in the head/neck.
A complaint has been made to MPI (the Ministry of Primary Industries) but since this kind of treatment is all too common at rodeo, the best way we can all help is to boycott the rodeo and encourage our friends and family to do so too.
International Rodeo cruelty canned
SAFE is delighted to announce that the International Rodeo event, the largest rodeo in the country, will not go ahead this year. The event is usually held each November and in 2012 it took place in Dunedin and Hamilton. Neither venue has a booking this year.
Last year's Dunedin event was an abject failure, selling only one quarter of the stadium capacity and attracting criticism from SAFE and the public on animal welfare grounds. Hamilton faced a protest from local residents and SAFE volunteers, as well of the release of footage which showed the stress and fear suffered by the animals at the International Rodeo.
"With rodeo season just about to begin we are pleased to start with a win for the animals. Animals don't want to perform - they are confused and scared. It is certainly no fun for them," says campaign manager Mandy Carter. "We hope this is the beginning of the end for rodeos in New Zealand and if the event is resurrected in the future organisers and councils will certainly face further pressure."
The International Rodeo was the largest rodeo in the country and included loud music, fireworks and pyrotechnics, so along with the usual torment, goading and brutal treatment animals endure at rodeos, they also had to contend with fear, stress and anxiety caused by loud noise and bright lights.
Several local rodeos will still go ahead around New Zealand. Animals desperately need us to speak up for them! If you've got a rodeo coming to your local town (see dates here) write to your local paper using points from SAFE's rodeo flier or wording from the handy letter below to express your disgust. You can also write to sponsors.
Do we want to teach our children that it is okay to use and abuse animals? It is about time rodeos were banned on welfare grounds alone. Claims have been made that rodeos are not violent towards animals however anyone who has watched this horrible spectacle will know that flank straps and electric prods are used to get a desired reaction from the animal. The fact that the animal is only in the ring for a few seconds does not justify the violence, stress, and risk of injury and death to which the animals are subjected
Rodeo: theatre of cruelty
Lynn Charlton, NZ Herald, 12 February 2013
We need to examine why hurting and frightening animals is entertainment and stop this legalised abuse.
At two rodeos last month I watched as many in the crowd looked on, indifferent, sealed off to the meaning of struggling frightened animals, cheering and whistling as they were defeated and hurt.
Infant calves, chased out of chutes, fleeing at up to 30km/h slammed to an instant halt by a rope that washing-lined them. Some hung vertical, mid-air, before being slammed backwards to earth, the thud audible. Some had their spines buckled. Their torment was not over. Some were slammed to the ground again after getting to their feet, as "cowboys" overpowered them - man against baby animal - kneeling on their rib cage as they cried out.
Summer rodeo cruelty in Huntly
7 February 2013
There's truly nothing entertaining about tormenting and teasing terrified animals.
This rodeo season there are articles trumpeting in local papers around the country what fun was had by all, but these photos from the 2013 Huntly rodeo speak for themselves showing scared, stressed and injured animals.
Say no to the rodeo, and spread the word with your friends and family too! If you see a promotional article in your local paper please write in and speak up on behalf of the animals.
Full resolution images can be seen here.
ANTI-RODEO MESSAGE TAKEN DIRECTLY TO COUNCIL
23 November 2012
Hamilton City councillors received a hard-hitting message today with a powerful protest from SAFE and local supporters proclaiming ‘Rodeos are animal abuse and your council supports it'. The provocative message highlights the council's support of animal cruelty, with the revelation that the council provided financial support to rodeo organisers.
A huge 6x3 metre billboard was erected directly in front of Hamilton City Council buildings, a day ahead of the international rodeo event. The rodeo event is again being supported by the council in contrast to the action of Auckland City Council, which, in 2008, banned rodeos on council land.
"SAFE received information that not only has the council set a policy that allows cruel events on council land, but they spent ratepayers money on it too, by giving sponsorship to the rodeo in 2011. I'm sure rate-payers don't want to fund animal abuse and SAFE is joining locals today in protesting against this cruelty." says SAFE Campaign manager Mandy Carter.
"Animals in rodeo suffer. Our new footage, shot at last year's Hamilton International Rodeo, shows just how much stress and fear they are experiencing. Animals don't want to perform - they are confused and afraid. It's certainly no fun for them, says Ms Carter. "We hope this public message will make the council think again about their events policy. With the rodeo code of welfare also under review right now, the spotlight is on this issue more than ever and there is the chance this is the last year it happens."
The international rodeo was also held in Dunedin last weekend, although Mayor Dave Cull has indicated sympathy for the animals' cause. SAFE will be talking to Dunedin Council, asking them to join Auckland Council in making a commitment to banning all future events of this type.
SUPPORT A BAN ON THE OUTDATED, CRUEL 'SPORT' OF RODEO
The government is now taking public submissions on the draft Code of Welfare for rodeos, which governs animal welfare standards for animals used in rodeo, and SAFE is calling for a total ban on this brutal 'sport'.
SAFE and the SPCA, New Zealand's two largest animal welfare agencies, plus respected animal advocacy organisations worldwide, oppose the use of animals in rodeos on animal welfare grounds. This disturbing and outdated form of ‘entertainment' subjects animals to fear, stress, risk of injury and death. It must end - make a submission to call for a ban on all rodeo events.
The draft of the Code proposed by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) suggests minor changes that include shortening rodeo events and technical adjustments to the use of spurs - changes which do not address the continued, legalised animal abuse that routinely takes place in the rodeo.
SAFE believes rodeos are in breach of New Zealand's animal welfare act which states (section 4) that animals should be "physically handled in a manner which minimises the likelihood of unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress". By their very nature rodeos deliberately subject animals to fear, stress and torment.
"The review is ineffectual because there is simply no way to make rodeos humane. Rodeos have no place in New Zealand. It's nothing to do with our traditions. It's time for them to go the same way as other brutal blood sports like bear baiting and cock fighting. A total ban on this cruel practice is the only solution," says campaign manager Mandy Carter.
SAFE will be rejecting the 2012 draft code and will call for a ban on rodeos and challenge NAWAC to provide credible research and evidence to support their proposed standards and practices.
"Although legislative action to reduce the level of injuries to animals used in rodeos is a step forward it does not change the fact that rodeos will always be cruel. We urge the public to take a stand for rodeo animals and make their own submissions calling for a total ban on this cruelty," says Ms Carter. "The other key way to help these animals is, of course, to simply never go to a rodeo."
SAFE is fundamentally opposed to rodeos and other events that subject animals to undue stress and trauma likely to cause injury and suffering. The intent of the Code is to impose minimum standards for the treatment of animals in events such as rodeos. These events are based totally on asserting dominance, coercion, and inherently cruel practices that force animals to 'perform'. SAFE believes this is a total contradiction of the Animal Welfare Act.
SAFE believes the code in 2003 and the draft in 2012 both fail to demonstrate even the most basic provisions of animal welfare.
SAFE has serious concerns regarding the lack of animal welfare considerations and provisions for animal welfare referred to as Minimum Standards and Recommended Best Practices. Although legislative action to reduce the level of injuries to animals used in rodeos is desirable, it does not change the fact that rodeos are inherently cruel. The only response to the suffering of rodeo animals is to ban rodeos completely. No welfare code can alter the inherently cruel and exploitative nature of rodeo events.
Call for ban on rodeos ignored by city council
Despite hearing of all the animal welfare issues associated with rodeos Hamilton council has decided to blatantly ignore the wish of both local residents and animal welfare supporters to ban the rodeo from taking place on public land, putting financial concerns ahead of ethics. The announcement is especially baffling as Hamilton Mayor Hardaker is chairperson of the local SPCA, an organisation strongly opposed to the cruelty of rodeos!
Let Mayor Hardaker know your dismay at their inaction: email@example.com
SAFE is disappointed that the ‘international' rodeo event is scheduled to take place in both Hamilton and Dunedin this year - this despite Auckland council banning all rodeos and the councils being aware of the huge animal welfare issues associated with this cruel spectator entertainment.
Contact the Mayor of Dunedin, Dave Cull: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAFE asked the council not to allow rodeo events at Claudelands as rodeos abuse animals, but in correspondence the council has told SAFE that they will allow the rodeo back, despite the fact that Auckland council banned rodeos in 2008 and the Hamilton council has already set a precedent for taking the moral ‘high ground' by banning a proposed Erotica expo.
"The International Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the country and includes loud music, fireworks and pyrotechnics, so along with the usual torment, goading and brutal treatment animals endure, they must also contend with fear, stress and anxiety caused by loud noise and bright lights," says Ms Carter.
"Rodeos are merely a cruel display of man's dominance and abuse of animals. These animals are forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called entertainment. There is simply no excuse".
"Rodeos blatantly disregard our moral obligation towards other living creatures and have a negative impact on our society, particularly on impressionable children. Children attending the rodeo will witness animals being terrorised and ill-treated, seemingly with adult approval. Conditioning children into accepting such violence will have dire consequences for our society in the future, given the strong links between animal and human abuse. Hamilton Council have missed a real opportunity to make a difference," says Ms Carter.
RODEO CRUELTY MOVES TO HAMILTON
SAFE protestors were out in force against the International Rodeo. TV One, 3 News, Radio Live, Newstalk ZB, Waikato Times and YahooNZ aired SAFE's protest. Hamilton's Claudelands Arena was the focus of anti-rodeo campaigners protesting against the International Rodeo. SAFE campaigners staged a colourful protest, with funky 'cows' and 'horses' outside the Arena to highlight the plight of animals in rodeo events. SAFE says it has protested at previous shows held in Christchurch and was disappointed that Hamilton agreed to host this year's event.
"The International Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the country and includes loud music, fireworks and pyrotechnics, so along with the usual torment, goading and brutal treatment animals endure, they must also contend with fear, stress and anxiety caused by loud noise and bright lights," says SAFE campaign manager Mandy Carter.
"Rodeos are merely a cruel display of man's dominance and abuse of animals. These animals are forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called entertainment," says Ms Carter.
"Rodeo animals are not wild animals, so they would not normally buck, but they are tormented into doing so through the use of flankstraps. The animals are at risk of broken bones, ruptured ligaments, extensive bruising and even death."
SAFE has asked the Hamilton Council not to hold rodeo events at Claudelands - the council responded by saying they were contracted to this event but would look at policy for future events involving animals.
"We urge the Hamilton Council to follow the Auckland Council's initiative by adopting policy prohibiting rodeos from council-owned land," says Ms Carter.
"Rodeos blatantly disregard our moral obligation towards other living creatures and have a negative impact on our society, particularly on impressionable children. Children attending the rodeo will witness animals being terrorised and ill-treated, seemingly with adult approval. Conditioning children into accepting such violence will have dire consequences for our society in the future, given the strong links between animal and human abuse."
SAFE also believes that companies sponsoring the rodeo must take responsibility for the role they play in perpetuating this type of aggressive attitude towards animals.
"They must act immediately by withdrawing from involvement with any future rodeos and adopting a policy of not sponsoring events which cause animals to suffer needlessly," says Ms Carter.
Campbell Live report on the first International Rodeo event in 2007
June 2014 Waikato Times - Opinion Article 'Turning a blind eye to animal abuse at rodeos'.
What's wrong with rodeos? Footage from the 2011 Hamilton rodeo shows the behind-the-scenes story.
If there is a rodeo event in your area send an email to the main sponsor asking them to remove their support of cruelty.
IN THE NEWS
ODT Rodeo promoter faces liquidation
ODT Rodeo ban idea progresses
NZ Herald Rodeo fun just a theatre of cruelty
Channel 9 SAFE Dunedin group challenge rodeo (video)
NZ Herald SAFE appeals for Dunedin rodeo ban
NZ Herald 10,000 sign petion to ban rodeo
ODT Rodeo 'entertainment' at animals' expense
ODT Shun rodeo, animal rights group says
The Press Ban rodeos says SAFE
Herald Are rodeos cruel?
Waikato Times Mayor urged to resign from SPCA
NZ Herald Rodeo's return dismays SAFE
ODT Indoor rodeo planned for Dunedin
NZ Herald SAFE angry at council's rodeo stance
TV3 Hamilton Rodeo organisers on the defensive
Newstalk ZB Hamilton inaction allows rodeo
NZ Herald Call for ban on rodeos ignored by city council
NZ Herald Council asked to ban rodeos
North Advocate editorial asks the right questions.
WATCH SAFE campaign manager Mandy Carter argue what's wrong with rodeos.
Waikato Times Hamilton Rodeo declares success despite SAFE protest
TV3 SAFE demonstrates at Hamilton rodeo
TV One Anti-rodeo protesters attend Hamilton show
NewstalkZB Animal rights activists stage protest
One News Thousands flock to Canterbury rodeo
Southland Rodeo-goers brave the weather
Congratulations to the Auckland City Council for sticking up for rodeo animals! In a New Zealand first, the Auckland City Council banned rodeos from using council land on animal welfare grounds from 2008.
Former Auckland Mayor Hon. John Banks says: "The gross spectacle of animal torture masquerading as a rodeo would never happen in Auckland," said Mr Banks.