In Australia and New Zealand, thousands of animals are used in hundreds of rodeo events every year. Countless animals suffer catastrophic injuries, and many die. The few regulations that are in place at rodeos are not effective in preventing injuries or deterring abusive treatment.
Animals used in rodeos are physically provoked to ensure they’ll “put on a show”. Workers painfully twist horses’ and cows’ tails and jolt them with electric prods in order to make them bolt out of the chute. To make animals buck, they are viciously kicked and spurred, and straps are tightened around their abdomens.
In calf-roping events, young animals running full-speed suffer trauma to their necks when they are lassoed with rope and violently jerked back and slammed to the ground. The force of being lassoed by the neck causes many calves to become airborne before full-grown men throw themselves on top of the terrified animals and tie them up with rope. Common injuries include severe bruising, broken bones, ruptured discs, internal bleeding and even paralysis.
During one Tasmanian rodeo, a bull who had collapsed after a spinal injury was repeatedly kicked in the head to force him back onto his feet, even though he was partially paralysed. He was then hauled onto a truck, where he suffered for hours before
he was killed.
After a rodeo, the animals are hauled like freight to the next venue. They are allowed little, if any, time to recuperate, rest or let their injuries heal. And when the animals become too tired or worn-out to continue, most are sent to slaughter.
Rodeo riders voluntarily risk injury by participating in events, but the animals they use have no such choice. Countless animals in rodeos have suffered broken ribs, backs and legs; punctured lungs; deep internal organ bruising; haemorrhaging; ripped tendons; torn ligaments and muscles; and broken necks. Many die in agony. The best way to help animals used in rodeos is to choose cruelty-free entertainment.