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.

Protest 1:

"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.

Protest 2:

"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.

November 2011