Govt won't ban rodeos but will look into improving animal welfare

The Government has announced it will not ban rodeos.
The Government has announced it will not ban rodeos. Photo credit: File

The Government will not ban rodeos, but will look into improving animal welfare, Associate Minister of Agriculture Meka Whaitiri has announced.

Ms Whaitiri said she is aware of the public's concerns over the use of animals in rodeos, but that they are meaningful events for some communities.

"It is absolutely essential for those involved to have animal welfare at the forefront of their minds at all times," she said in a statement.

The Minister said she has asked officials to look into improving the welfare of animals in rodeos, and to review several controversial practices.

These include the use of calves in rodeos, as well as the use of electric prodders, flank straps, rope burning and tail twisting, which is not permitted under the Animal Welfare Act. 

Ms Whaitiri said the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) will be seeking views from interested sectors as part of a wider review of animals used in entertainment, exhibition and encounter, including rodeos.

The current code of welfare for rodeos, which was revised in 2014, will continue to be enforced.

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