Latest rodeo protest follows death cover-up claims

  • Updated
  • 12/01/2019

Anti-rodeo protesters will gather outside an event in Whangarei on Saturdday with signs shaped like tombstones.

The signs will read 'rest in peace' in memory of the animals which died last year taking part in the sport.

Apollo Taito from Direct Animal Action says the Government's review of rodeo practices isn't moving quickly enough.

"We're just really frustrated and angry because it's taking a really long time for the Government to respond to the nature of rodeo."

Mr Taito says action needs to be taken to ban the worst aspects of the sport.

"We'll stand there with signs saying 'rest in peace', just dedicated to the animals that have passed away due to the cruel practise of rodeo."

Four animals reportedly died in the previous year. One of those was covered up, activists say - the death of a horse at an event in Gisborne in December, shortly after a bull was euthanised after its leg was snapped.

The bull's death was widely reported, but the horse's death wasn't.

"This is the third animal death at an NZ rodeo in the first eight weeks of the season," said Anti Rodeo Action's Lynn Charlton. "There were four known deaths caused by rodeo during 2018, though there could be more."

The Rodeo Cowboys Association [NZRCA] told Newshub the horse's death was the result of an "unusual accident away from the competition" and "could have happened in any stock yards or paddock anywhere in the country and would not be news".

"The NZRCA has, understandably, become cautious speaking out in an environment of extreme negativity towards rodeos which appears to be promoted by most media organisations," president Lyal Cocks said.

Eighty people are expected to voice their concerns at Saturday's event.

"If we can get them to end the cruel, extreme practises of using electric prodders and shockers, tail-twisting, flank straps - if we get that all out of the way, that would pretty much be the end of rodeo," said Mr Taito.

NZRCA spokesperson Michael Laws has previously told Newshub animal activists' "stock in trade" is lying.


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