Parliament urged to ban rodeos

Parliament urged to ban rodeos

The RSPCA has told a select committee rodeos contravene the spirit of the Animal Welfare Act and should be banned.

A petition of 62,000 signatures has already been presented to Parliament calling for a ban.

The RSPCA's chief scientific officer, Dr Arnja Dale, says there's no place for rodeo in a developed country like New Zealand, which has no religious or cultural connection to it.

"Touting rodeo as family entertainment exposes children to cruelty and harm and desensitises them to it," she said.

"Children exposed to animal abuse or family violence have an increased chance of carrying it out themselves."

SAFE policy advisor Shanti Ahuluwalia says there are around 40-50 rodeos in New Zealand each year.

"It intentionally hurts and stresses animals for entertainment, and needs to stop before it tarnishes New Zealand's reputation."

But Labour MP Damien O'Connor says animals in rodeo are likely to have longer lives than those in a normal farming context and likened the injuries animals suffer to those suffered by humans on a rugby field.

But RSPCA CEO Ric Odom said the difference is that rugby players have a choice whether or not to play.