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Ban Rodeo Cruelty

The SPCA is calling for the government to ban rodeos in New Zealand because they are a terrifying and cruel experience for animals. No animal should have to suffer, especially for human entertainment.

Calves and bulls are trapped in tiny chutes, they are given electric shocks, their tails twisted, and they’re often kicked and slapped. And that’s just the physical torment. They’re also subjected to extreme fear, distress and anxiety caused by the noise, the surroundings, the small spaces and from being chased.

The Animal Welfare Act 1999 should protect every animal in New Zealand from cruelty, yet rodeo animals are subjected to pain, fear and distress in the name of entertainment. Allowing rodeos is like legalised animal cruelty.

Rodeos are banned in the UK, the Netherlands and parts of Australia, the United States and Canada.

It’s time for New Zealand to make a change.


Calf roping

calf roping

Three-month-old calves are trapped in chutes, where they are given electric shocks, their tails are twisted and they are often kicked and slapped. 

Once released, they are chased at high speed, roped around the neck and thrown to the ground by a cowboy who ties its legs together. This can cause spinal damage, broken bones and internal haemorrhaging. These injuries can be fatal. 

The physical abuse and psychological stress these young animals are subjected to makes calf roping one of the cruellest events in a rodeo. 



buckingHorses and bulls aren’t ‘born to buck’, and they don’t buck because they enjoy it.

Rodeo animals buck because they are forced to wear a flank strap, which is tied tightly around their hindquarters. This causes pain and discomfort, and the animal bucks to try and get rid of it.

Being forced to buck in an arena full of spectators is stressful and terrifying for rodeo animals. Given the option, no animal would choose to participate in these events.


Steer wrestling

steer wrestlingIn this event a steer (castrated male cattle) is chased in a rodeo arena, grabbed by the horns and twisted to the ground by a cowboy.

An animal would never naturally twist their neck in the way it is forced on them in steer wrestling.

As a result, they can suffer injuries including a broken neck, broken horns and spinal injuries.



How you can help

  • Talk to your friends, family and colleagues about rodeos and explain why they need to be made illegal in New Zealand.
  • Don’t attend rodeos – rodeos will only continue in New Zealand as long as people attend them.