Breaking! Rodeo Protestors Bullied & Manhandled While Documenting Rampant Animal Cruelty At Event In New Zealand

Photos from Anti Rodeo Action NZ, Facebook

Animal advocates are claiming that they were confronted with aggressive, bullying behavior, for speaking out against the cruelty of rodeos during an event that took place over the weekend in New Zealand.

While the majority of protestors demonstrated peacefully outside the Mid Northern Rodeo in Whangarei, six protesters purchased tickets to the event. Armed with cell phones and cameras, they intended to document the rampant cruelty animals experience at the hands of organizers and participants.

“Vigilantes in the crowd took it upon themselves to confront in the most appalling way, people peacefully filming,” Marianne Macdonald, head of campaigns for SAFE said in a statement, noting that the behavior of rodeo supporters at the event is reflective of the culture of rodeo. “Rodeo organizers deny that they bully animals, yet the spectators believe they can take it upon themselves to physically assault others in attendance, just like the cowboys’ assault animals in the rodeo arena.”

As per the organization, the Mid Northern Rodeo has been the site of a previous warning from the Ministry for Primary Industries for breaching animal welfare laws. Legal action is also proceeding against an animal handler at the same rodeo for his illegal use of an electric prod on young calves.

“Filming and cameras have been banned at many rodeo events. The organizers claim that content can be taken out of context and used to show rodeos in a bad light,” continued Macdonald. “However, they can’t get away from the fact that the context is a rodeo, and the content is animal abuse.”

Anti-Rodeo Action NZ members were among those manhandled by rodeo attendees and documenting the incident, noting that “The violence that is part of rodeo is now showing itself against women, children, and other men. No “sport” behaves like this.”

Steer crammed together in a chute during the event was one of the many animal cruelty infractions the group documented on social media.

“They are wearing fake horns so they can be roped around the horns and their heads pulled in one direction while a second rider pulls their back legs up with another rope,” explained Anti-Rodeo Action NZ on its Facebook page. “Some steers fall to the ground if they are exhausted or fearful, or if riders pull too hard. This is team roping.”

The horror of rodeos should be banned not only in New Zealand but worldwide.

The current controversy follows on the heels of the death of both a horse that was killed at the Gisborne Rodeo on December 27th after escaping a chute, and a bull that was recently shot after dislocating part of his leg during a bull riding event.

“The public has had enough of the disgraceful display of human dominance over animals at rodeos. It is urgent that the Government steps in and bans rodeo cruelty immediately.”

Macdonald also addressed this travesty on SAFE’s Facebook page.

“Rodeo organizers regard these horrific deaths as ‘freak accidents’ that ‘rarely occur’. We have now learned that not one, but two animals, have been killed at the same rodeo in Gisborne. These animals have been killed for the entertainment of a minority,” Macdonald said in a statement, further noting that four rodeo animals died last year alone, though the number of victims is believed to be larger. “There’s no transparency or accountability at rodeo events. It requires whistle-blowers and activists to bring fatalities to the public’s attention, so we don’t know how many animals overall are killed by the rodeo cowboys.”

The Rodeo Code of Welfare covers animals used in rodeo events, as well as animals used in rodeo training and rodeo schools. However, there are no requirements to report publicly on animal deaths and injuries.

“Even when animals aren’t killed, they often suffer extreme stress and fear. Animal loving New Zealanders have no stomach for the bullying of animals for fun. Rodeo organizers clearly know this. Rodeo cruelty can’t be improved, so it’s hidden as much as possible from public view,” stated Macdonald. “It’s time that the Government steps in and ends this systematic cruelty and bans all future rodeo events.”

Email New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor, and animal welfare committee, NAWAC, urging them to END all rodeo cruelty HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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