We know you share our view, and that of all Australian animal protection groups, that rodeos exploit and harm animals.
So please join us to contact sponsors of the upcoming Mount Isa Rodeo, asking them to Rethink Rodeos and reconsider their sponsorship support.
Bulls and horses don't buck excessively and on cue because they are 'athletes' bred to buck. They are in fact reacting to a tightened flank strap, spurs digging into their shoulders, and a rider on their back. Calves and steers don't sprint from the chute because they love running - they are frightened and are trying to get away from their pursuers on horseback who want to rope and tie them, or twist their necks severely to bring them to ground.
Animal behaviourists tell us that rodeo animals clearly demonstrate their distress and fear in the arena when they bellow, drool excessively, show 'white eye', or are open-mouthed. These behaviours are seen very frequently.
Rodeos are often promoted by industry and government as 'family friendly' but the opposite is true. It is ethically wrong to allow children to become desensitised to animal stress and pain through repeated exposure to rodeo events. Violence is normalised at rodeos but it is still violence that is being witnessed.
Australian State and Territory animal welfare legislation exempts many of the cruel and abusive rodeo practices. Even where and when animal cruelty breaches are observed and reported, those who inflict the cruelty rarely face charges or prosecution. Most rodeo events are held in regional/rural locations and unbelievably there is not even a legal requirement to have a veterinarian in attendance at Queensland rodeos, despite the risk of injury.
Rodeo events can and do result in serious injuries and deaths for the unwilling animal participants, including at Mount Isa Rodeo. In 2018, Animal Liberation Qld (ALQ) documented the deaths of two animals in the Mount Isa Rodeo arena in one day. A horse crashed violently into a fence and died. This distressing incident was quickly followed by a steer who broke his leg. In 2019, a steer badly injured his horn while being wrestled to the ground, with vet advice confirming that the pain would have been excruciating. Horse falls are very common. Other ALQ footage at Mount Isa includes a stock contractor holding a 'jigger' near the necks and shoulders of horses in the chutes.
Now we have an opportunity to reach out to the Mount Isa Rodeo sponsors to ask them to reconsider their sponsorship of this rodeo by reallocating their sponsorship towards a more suitable reflection of the Mount Isa 100-year anniversary celebration. We appreciate your support in telling sponsors about the many harmful consequences of rodeos to animals.