A rodeo in New Zealand has refused to bow to pressures to cancel events despite a string of bull deaths.
Animal rights activists have demanded the closure of a rodeo in Dunedin after two animals had to be euthanised following injuries during recent events.
One bull strained his back while bucking during competition while another hurt his leg on a fence.
Activist group SAFE led the calls for the rodeo to be called off after the two deaths.
“If you did this sort of thing to animals on a farm, you could very well be charged with animals cruelty,” Appelbe told RNZ.
“Even when the animals aren’t killed, they’re still subjected to very distressing treatment. To be treated the way they are in rodeos makes them feel like they’re being attacked by a predator.
“Most New Zealanders agree that this is animal cruelty for so-called entertainment.”
Despite the angry backlash, Outram Rodeo president James Adam said the Mad Bull Rodeo Club Bulls and Barrels Series on April 4 are set to go ahead.
He said in a statement that the deaths ‘could have happened in a normal farming day, and it’s unfortunate that these things happen unfortunately’.
Last month Agriculture minister Damien O’Connor said in a statement there was ‘nothing to suggest there was a breach of rodeo minimum standards in either incident’.
But SAFE spokesperson Applebe said the group was unsatisfied by the response from officials and criticised the rodeo’s record.
‘‘This club has killed a bull at each of its first two events,” he told the Otago Daily Times.
‘‘This is a pattern we can’t ignore.’
‘‘MPI should not allow this club to run another event until it has been fully audited and the ministry has checked all of the club’s processes.’’
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