WINNIPEG—The Winnipeg Humane Society and national animal law organization Animal Justice are calling for animal cruelty charges after a horse was killed on Saturday, July 15 after being forced to compete in a “bronc riding” event at the Triple S Fair and Rodeo in Selkirk, Manitoba. A shocking video posted online by a rodeo attendee shows the horse becoming injured and repeatedly falling, shortly after leaving the chute.
Bronc riding involves riders attempting to stay on top of a horse as the frightened animal bucks, attempting to throw them off. Bronc riding is known to cause injuries and even death to horses who through the use of “bucking straps”, spurs, and other devices used to force them to engage in extreme bucking—an unnatural and dangerous behaviour.
“This incident is tragic, but it is hardly surprising,” said Kaitlyn Mitchell, Winnipeg-based lawyer and director of legal advocacy with Animal Justice. “Bucking competitions cause suffering and distress to horses, putting them at risk of injury and death all for the sake of entertainment. It’s illegal under provincial and federal laws to cause suffering and distress to animals—and this includes cruel and outdated bronc riding events. Rodeos aren’t above the law, and those responsible for this horse’s painful death must be held to account.”
“Every year we are seeing instances of horses breaking their legs during rodeo spectacles across Canada, and these animals are killed as a result. The fatality risk to these animals far outweighs the entertainment value that we thrust upon them. There are so many other ways to find family friendly and humane forms of entertainment in 2023.”
Animal Justice and the Winnipeg Humane Society have reported the incident to law enforcement authorities, requesting that they investigate the incident and take enforcement action under Manitoba’s Animal Care Act and the Criminal Code.
It was a deadly weekend for horses. On Friday, July 14 another horse was killed at the Calgary Stampede, after becoming injured while being forced to compete in that event’s deadly chuckwagon races.
Rodeo is considered so cruel that it has been banned in jurisdictions around the world, including the City of Vancouver and Port Moody, the United Kingdom, and many American states and cities.