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Survey shows many Kiwis support rodeo ban

Monday, 29 August, 2016

DSC 9614 cropThe ongoing campaign to ban rodeos in New Zealand is very much in tune with public opinion, according to a new survey commissioned by SPCA New Zealand and SAFE.

More than half (59%) of the respondents in the Horizon Research survey would support a ban on using animals in rodeos in New Zealand. Just 25% of respondents opposed a ban.

“It’s great to see more evidence that most New Zealanders agree with our stance on rodeos and would like to see them completely banned,” says Ric Odom, SPCA New Zealand CEO.

Last year SPCA NZ, SAFE and Farmwatch joined forces to collect more than 62,000 signatures on a petition calling for an outright ban on rodeos in New Zealand. The organisations say the substantial number of signatures reveals widespread public support for a ban.

“Rodeos can be terrifying and stressful experiences for the animals involved, yet they are currently legal. These latest survey results reinforce what we have been campaigning for: rodeo animals should not be subjected to cruelty simply for entertainment,” says Hans Kriek, SAFE CEO. “The Government must act now and listen to public opinion.”

A decision whether to ban rodeos is currently being considered by the Primary Production Committee.

More than two thirds of survey respondents (68%) related strongest to the statement that “Rodeo causes pain and suffering to animals and it is not worth causing this just for the sake of entertainment”. The majority of respondents (55%) thought the levels of distress caused in rodeo were such that this should qualify as unreasonable or unnecessary under the Animal Welfare Act.

“It is self-evident that rodeos cause unreasonable and unnecessary suffering for the animals involved and this is completely unjustified. The Animal Welfare Act is designed to protect all animals from pain and suffering but we believe allowing rodeos is like legalising animal cruelty,” says Mr Odom.

Almost two thirds (63%) of survey participants would be supportive of a ban on calf roping, a cruel practice that can cause spinal damage, broken bones, internal bleeding, and is in some cases fatal. Only 20% were opposed to a ban on calf roping. SPCA NZ and SAFE now urge the Government to immediately ban calf roping in New Zealand as a minimum measure to prevent unnecessary suffering for these baby animals.

The organisations also call for a ban on flank straps as a minimum measure, which 66% of respondents believed should not be used to make animals perform. Flank straps are straps or ropes fastened behind the widest part of a horse’s or bull’s abdomen that cause discomfort so the animals buck in an effort to rid themselves of the strap.