The first horse of 2022 has died after being injured in the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races on Thursday night, a dangerous event that results in the death of horses nearly every year.
This is the first time the races have returned to the Stampede since six horses died in 2019. Animal Justice is calling for an animal cruelty investigation and asking the city of Calgary to outlaw chuckwagon racing and all rodeo events, on grounds that they are an exceedingly dangerous spectacle of cruelty.
After the carnage of 2019, Stampede officials said they changed the chuckwagon rules to make the races safer, by reducing the number of wagons on the track. But no rule change can protect horses from this inherently dangerous high-speed race.
According to tracking done by the Vancouver Humane Society, over 100 animals have been killed in Stampede rodeo events since 1986.
It’s illegal in Alberta to inflict unreasonable distress on animals, and there are no exemptions for rodeos. Yet, no rodeo event or participant has faced prosecution in Canada since 1950—over 70 years.
Rodeo events aren’t above the law and should no longer be given a free pass to abuse animals for cheap thrills. It’s time for law enforcement to finally crack down on animal cruelty at rodeo events.
Please tell the Calgary mayor that the Stampede doesn’t need rodeo events to flourish, and most guests don’t patronize rodeo. Stampede concerts, carnival rides, games, and parades already make it a great celebration—no cruelty required. It’s time to stamp out rodeo cruelty for good!