New video footage reveals stressed and frightened calves, horses, and bulls were roughly handled and deliberately agitated into fleeing or bucking at two rodeo events in British Columbia.
The video was filmed at rodeos in Chilliwack and Langley Township, and released by Vancouver Humane Society (VHS). The group is calling on organizers for both rodeos and local City Councils to remove inhumane rodeo events, including roping, bucking, wrestling, and mutton busting, from the event programs.
“If the animals love to perform, why is it necessary to twist their ears, drag them by their tails, and fasten uncomfortable straps around their sensitive underbelly to make them do so?” – VHS Campaign Director Emily Pickett
Federal and provincial laws are clear: It’s illegal to cause distress and suffering to animals in the name of entertainment. But rodeo events regularly cause animals to experience immense fear and distress and put them at significant risk of injury.
Calf-roping is widely considered to be among the most cruel of all rodeo events. It involves participants chasing and lassoing calves by the neck and throwing the terrified animals to the ground in an effort to tie their legs together. This puts calves at risk of injuries to their neck, limbs, and respiratory tract, as well as death. It is so violent that Canada’s public broadcaster will not air portions of it on television. As exposed in the video of the Chilliwack rodeo, a calf was being chased by a rider on horseback during a roping event and ran into the arena fence at full speed.
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.
Chilliwack and Langley residents, help end rodeo cruelty by asking your upcoming municipal election candidates if they will support a municipal bylaw that follows the lead of other municipalities, like the City of Vancouver and District of North Vancouver, in prohibiting inhumane rodeo events and practices, such as roping, bucking, wrestling, mutton busting, and the use of flank straps and spurs.
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