Rodeo industry to 'fight back' against protests

Anti-rodeo protesters are vowing to come back stronger than ever as their season of demonstrations wraps up.

Around 130 people gathered at the Waikato Rodeo on Saturday to call for an end to its "cruelty".

Direct Animal Action spokesperson Apollo Taito says they'll only back off if the Government steps in.

"We weren't too hopeful with the last Government, but with this new progressive Government we're quite optimistic. With the Greens there, definitely."

In a statement, the Rodeo Cowboys Association said it would not be silenced by protestors, and intends to fight back with "facts".

"This year, rodeo enthusiasts have decided that we will not stand by and watch our athletes and administrators abused anymore," said spokesman Michael Laws.

"We will fight back against the uninformed activists with science and the facts."

Mr Laws said "around 100,000" people would have attended a rodeo event this season.

"Those numbers dwarf the tiny number of protests and protestors."

But Mr Taito is confident the activists have more support.

"They have a perspective that's counter to us, but there's a clear indication from the majority of New Zealanders that there's no place for rodeos in 2018."

The Waikato event was the third and final demonstration of the season, and attracted around 130 protesters.

"We're happy with the numbers of the protesters being there," said Mr Taito.

Newshub.