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New NZVA rodeo policy gets SPCA thumbs up

Wednesday, 15 June, 2016

option 3SPCA New Zealand congratulates the New Zealand Veterinary Association on its new rodeos policy, which calls for a re-evaluation of the use of animals in rodeos.

The NZVA also expresses concern about some rodeo practices. Specifically, rodeo events that involve the use of young animals (calf roping) or forcible physical restraint of mature animals that may result in musculoskeletal injuries and pain (steer wrestling, team roping) – a view shared by the SPCA.

“We agree that rodeos can pose serious threats to the physical wellbeing of the animals involved, especially young animals, and we congratulate the NZVA for highlighting these important issues,” says Ric Odom, CEO of SPCA NZ.

“The SPCA is opposed to rodeos and believes they should be banned in New Zealand. However, we would also welcome a restriction on rodeos where the most contentious practices, such as calf roping, are stopped.

“The matter is currently before the Primary Production Select Committee, which we presented submissions to on 2 June. We are hopeful that the Select Committee will make a reasoned decision based on the evidence presented.”

The SPCA also agrees with the NZVA that the continued practice of rodeo events in New Zealand must be re-evaluated to ensure that the sentience of animals is acknowledged and that animal welfare is protected.

“We believe public opinion has shifted and many people now regard several rodeo practices as unacceptable because of the harm they cause to the animals involved,” says Mr Odom.

“The fact that we recently gathered 62,000 signatures on our petition asking for an outright ban on rodeos tends to support the view that New Zealanders are uncomfortable with the aspects of rodeos that involve cruelty to animals.”

Read the full NZVA Rodeo Position Statement here.