The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) has released disturbing footage depicting “inhumane” treatment behind the scenes at two notable rodeo events in Chilliwack and the Township of Langley in BC.
VHS is raising concerns about how the animals at these popular family events are treated.
The footage shows animal handlers doing things that are common at all rodeo events, which the society calls recurring animal welfare issues.
- You might also like:
- Poll: Support growing for a rodeo-free Calgary Stampede
- Opinion: Calgary Stampede-goers should skip deadly chuckwagon races
- Calls to end Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races after horse death
Some of the practices included stressed and frightened animals being handled roughly and “deliberately agitated into ‘performing’ for the public.”
Clips show handlers pulling on the ears and tails of animals. In one clip, frightened sheep are shoved onto their hind legs before falling onto their side.
In another clip from the Chilliwack rodeo, a calf is being chased by a rider on horseback during a roping event and runs into a fence at full speed. In a different clip, a bull falls and lands on his horn, injuring the animal.
VHS is not only hoping to bring public awareness to these ongoing issues involving animal welfare but also calling on local leaders to bring the community together in ways that don’t involve cruel events like rodeos. VHS has also been calling on organizers to remove inhumane rodeo events.
“The rodeo industry has long claimed that the animals used in rodeos love to perform. This footage, once again, proves otherwise,” said VHS Campaign Director Emily Pickett in a statement.
“If the animals love to perform, why is it necessary to twist their ears, drag them by their tails, and fasten uncomfortable straps around their sensitive underbelly to make them do so?”
Pickett added that these events “put animals at risk of injury and death, all for the sake of public entertainment.”
Earlier this year, many eyes were on the Calgary Stampede, with more people calling for a stoppage to cruelty at its rodeo events.