Deaths spark renewed fight against rodeos

Around 100 people are expected to protest outside the Warkworth Rodeo on Tuesday morning.

It comes after a bull was euthanised at the Gisborne Rodeo last week when it dislocated its hind leg.

"We love animals, but sometimes these accidents do happen," NZ Rodeo Cowboys Association president Lyal Cocks told Newshub.

Direct Animal Action spokesperson Apollo Taito says rodeo organisers will try and minimise the death.

"When you get a death - and this is the second death of the season so far - then you can't hide the fact it does involve some form of torture or violence towards the animal."

A horse died at the Methven Rodeo in October after getting tangled in its saddle.

Mr Cocks said it was the first time in 40 he'd seen that happen before.

"We are seeking to ensure that any animal injuries at rodeo events, as rare as they might be, are neither due to poor practice nor inadequate training," he told Stuff.

But Mr Taito is urging the Government to ban flank straps, rope burning and electric shocking - and ultimately, rodeo itself.

"They're quite quick to react to the death. They don't really want to mar that public view that it's a fun day for the family. It might be at the top, but underneath it there isn't any fun for the animals involved…

"Any entertainment that involves that stress or torture or pain on an animal shouldn't be allowed in New Zealand in this day and age."

Animal activists regularly protest rodeo events during summer. In January last year, they even said it should be banned because of the danger it poses to humans.

"I think we'll always get protests from certain groups. They're not willing to accept things we're doing, the rules and the welfare regulations in place," Mr Cocks said at the start of this year's rodeo season in October.

"The animal welfare officers and vets from MPI, SPCA inspectors, they come along to make sure we run the rodeo as required by the welfare code."

Tuesday's protest starts at 11am at the Warkworth A&P Showgrounds, State Highway 1, Warkworth.