Animal Justice Demands Charges After Young Cow & 2 Horses Killed at 2024 Calgary Stampede

The 2024 Calgary Stampede rodeo is off to a deadly start, with three animals being killed in only the first four days—adding to a long list of 100+ horrifying fatalities over the past four decades.

On opening day on Friday, July 5, a horse was killed after becoming injured in a chuckwagon race—the deadliest event at the Stampede. 

On Saturday, June 6, an outrider horse forced to follow Chance Thomson’s wagon was also killed following an injury in a chuckwagon race. Outrider horses are used to help riders navigate the track and are coerced into racing alongside a chuckwagon—putting them at considerable risk. These heartbreaking deaths were concealed by the Stampede for three days before being shared publicly and making it into news reports.

And on Monday, June 8, a steer wrestler from Idaho named Stetson Jorgensen charged out of the gate on a horse, chasing after a terrified young cow. He jumped forcefully on the animal, grabbed him by the horns, and snapped his neck to the ground with his bare hands. The young cow lay stiff and motionless, and died shortly after.

It’s illegal under Alberta provincial law and federal criminal law to cause distress and suffering to animals. Animal Justice has filed a legal complaint urging the Calgary Humane Society to uphold the law and lay charges for animal abuse.

Animal Justice is also calling on the Calgary Stampede to immediately suspend dangerous chuckwagon races and steer wrestling events.

This heartbreaking incident was originally reported by the Vancouver Humane Society.

Illegal Cruelty at the Stampede Should Be Prosecuted

No rodeo event or participant has faced prosecution in Canada since 1950—nearly 70 years—even though countless animals have faced egregious abuse and have even lost their lives.

Rodeo is not exempt from animal cruelty laws, yet enforcement officials refuse to prosecute rodeo cruelty, and no action has been taken by any level of government to tackle this crisis.

Even when animals survive these events, they endure heartbreaking fear and pain for the sake of entertainment. Sensitive horses, cows, and calves are lassoed, wrestled, or roped to the ground in inhumane bucking, wrestling and roping tournaments. These animals are not willing participants or athletes—they are forced into participating, and will be whipped, prodded, or kicked if they don’t.

It’s time to end rodeo cruelty at the Calgary Stampede and hold those responsible for illegally abusing animals!

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