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On April 11th, 2018, a report on the St-Tite rodeo prepared by veterinarian Dr. Jean-Jacques Kona-Boun, as well as footage shot during this event, were made public.

The report and footage confirm what we already know: rodeos subject animals to fear, stress and undue risk of injury, or even death.

We must let the sponsors of the St-Tite rodeo know that we won’t stand for the deliberate infliction of physical and psychological suffering on animals in the name of entertainment.

We won’t allow

this cruel activity to take place, all in the name of “entertainment”.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH RODEOS?

Steer wrestling involves a mounted rodeo competitor jumping onto a running steer and violently twisting the animal’s neck until the steer is bent over onto the ground. Steers died during this event at the Calgary Stampede in 2013 and 2014, when their necks were broken.
During bull and bronco riding events, a strap is tightened around a sensitive part of the animal’s body, causing discomfort and thus prompting the animal to buck. Horses must also be spurred over the shoulders on each jump or buck in order for the rider to mark points.
Most rodeo events use equipment, such as electric prods, that can cause pain and coerce animals to perform out of fear.
Calf roping is perhaps the cruelest of all the rodeo events. A terrified 3 to 4 month-old calf is chased by a mounted rider who must lasso the calf, jump off his horse, pick up the calf, slam him to the ground and tie three of his legs together. Calves are sometimes injured or killed during this event.
Some rodeo fans believe the animals are like athletes and are proud to perform. However, the fear in the animals’ eyes tells us differently—and that’s what the show is selling. See more photos
Statistics from the Calgary Stampede show that animals are regularly injured and that some even die at rodeos. Many more injuries and deaths not reported in any official statistics occur during practice runs.
Photo credit (1 and 3 to 6): Jo-Anne McArthur/ We Animals

TORMENTED ANIMALS

Dr. Jean-Jacques Kona-Boun and many other experts agree: rodeos are fundamentally incompatible with animal welfare.

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
The rodeo activities held in accordance with the standards in effect in St-Tite subject horses and bulls to the risk of injury such as fractures and other serious injuries. The same is true of the calf-roping and steer-wrestling. The psychological distress experienced by all the animal beings used in such activities is also very real. - Dr. Jean-Jacques Kona-Boun, veterinarian and anesthesiologist, DVM, MSc, DACVAA

THOSE LEFT BEHIND: What happens to animals that don’t make it to the rodeo?

Vancouver Humane Society

While pro-rodeo advocates like to tout statistics about the “small” number of animals injured or killed during rodeos, these figures do not take into account the animals harmed during practice or training. Neither do they take into account the fact that the horses bred to compete in bucking events, but who don’t qualify, often end up being sent to slaughter because, having been raised to be semi-wild, they are not generally comfortable or safe around humans.

Each year, the Calgary Stampede—Canada’s largest rodeo—sends at least 20 horses to slaughter after they fail to qualify for bucking events. Numerous other animals are injured or killed every year during the Stampede, especially during the steer wrestling and calf roping events.
NOW THAT YOU KNOW, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

Join other Montreal SPCA supporters in saying NO to rodeos!

  • Send a letter to the main sponsors of the St-Tite rodeo to request that they dissociate themselves from this type of event
    Voir



*Your personal information will remain confidential.

STILL UNSURE?

Read what the experts have to say

“During the course of my lifetime, I have been a farmer and a bareback rodeo bronc rider. I’m also a medical researcher (veterinarian), meat inspector and prosecutor. My extensive experience with animals has led me to conclude this: rodeo events are inherently cruel.”

- Peggy W. Larson, DVM, MS, JD

“While the crowd at a rodeo is roaring with enthusiasm at the ‘contest’ between the human and the animal, anyone with a heart and familiarity with the behavior of mammals can see that the unwilling animal is in a state of terror, and often injured and in pain. The only willing participant is the human.”

- Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado and animal behavior specialist.

“The rodeo folks send their animals to the packing houses where I have seen cattle so extensively bruised that the only areas in which the skin was attached was the head, neck, legs, and belly. I have seen animals with six to eight ribs broken from the spine and at times puncturing the lungs. I have seen as much as two and three gallons of free blood accumulated under the detached skin.”

- Dr. C. G. Haber, DMV, veterinarian with thirty years’ experience as a USDA meat inspector

While the crowd at a rodeo is roaring with enthusiasm at the ‘contest’ between the human and the animal, anyone with a heart and familiarity with the behavior of mammals can see that the unwilling animal is in a state of terror, and often injured and in pain. The only willing participant is the human.

- Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado and animal behavior specialist.

READ OUR FAQs

Aren’t rodeo animals just like athletes in other rough sports?
Unlike humans, the animals forced to participate in rodeos have no choice in the matter. They do not willingly participate in activities where they are subjected to discomfort, stress, fear, pain, and risk of injury. Would a semi-feral animal choose to be goaded into an arena of thousands of screaming people looking forward to violence? Would they choose to have a strap tightened around their midsection, causing discomfort and stress, in order to dislodge the “rider” on their back?
Don’t flank straps simply “tickle” the animal?
Flank straps that are tightened around a horse or bull’s sensitive midsection cause, at a minimum, discomfort but can also cause pain. The tightened strap torments the animal who uses bucking to try to rid themselves of the rider and the strap. Anyone who has ever seen the behavior of horses and bulls in bucking events is well aware that these animals are not bucking, fleeing and kicking in reaction to being “tickled”—but rather as a reaction to torment, fear and distress.
Aren’t rodeo horses and bulls bred and raised to buck?
The rodeo industry claims that the horses and bulls it uses are born to buck and that bucking is a natural and positive experience for the animal. However, even if animals have been selectively bred for a predisposition to buck, this does not mean bucking is a positive experience for them. It merely means the animal is genetically predisposed to react to stimulation or stress by bucking. Additionally, a flank strap is still necessary in order to induce the bucking behaviour, which is hardly natural. Furthermore, horses bred to compete in bucking events, but who don’t qualify, often end up being sent to slaughter because they are kept semi-wild and not generally comfortable around humans. They are sacrificed after the fact.
Rodeo organizers claim injuries aren’t common and ensure that veterinarians are present to monitor animal welfare. Doesn’t that mean the animals are well cared for?
Rodeos generally keep an emergency team of veterinarians on duty because they know animals can easily be injured. Indeed, the presence of veterinarians does not rhyme with good animal welfare, but rather indicates that rodeos subject animals to unnecessary risk of injury―all for the sake of human entertainment.
Rodeo organizers claim that flank straps don’t squeeze bulls’ testicles. So what’s the problem?
Flank straps are tightened over a horse or bull’s sensitive midsection, not their testicles. However, this does not mean that the strap does not cause irritation, discomfort or even pain to the animal. What’s important to remember is that this is clearly a coercive method used to get the animals to perform.
What is the context of Dr. Kona-Boun’s report?
In May 2017, Professor Alain Roy and his students from the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Law filed a lawsuit aiming to force the cancellation of the urban rodeo planned as part of the City of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations. Pursuant to a settlement agreement putting an end to the lawsuit, Professor Roy obtained permission to send observers to the Montreal and St-Tite rodeos, with unlimited access to the facilities, in order to document the treatment of animals. After having observed in person all events at both rodeos and then having spent more than 360 hours analyzing the video footage, veterinarian Dr Jean-Jacques Kona-Boun prepared a report of over 600 pages detailing the many animal safety and welfare issues he witnessed.

RODEO TRICKS OF THE TRADE

Electric prods
A jolt of 5000 volts of electricity is emitted into the shoulder and hip...
A jolt of 5000 volts of electricity is emitted into the shoulder and hip of the animal, usually a bull, to get him to rear and buck.
Spurs
A metal device with a small spike or a spiked wheel that is worn on a rider's...
A metal device with a small spike or a spiked wheel that is worn on a rider's heel, used to inflict discomfort and even pain as well as provoke an animal to buck.
Whips
Whips are permitted at rodeos. The physical injuries to horses caused by whips are...
Whips are permitted at rodeos. The physical injuries to horses caused by whips are well-documented and include severe eye lesions, welts, bruises, and cuts.
Flank straps
A strap placed around an animal’s sensitive mid-section, causing irritation and...
A strap placed around an animal’s sensitive mid-section, causing irritation and stress that the animal attempts to escape from. Learn more here.

SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING

around the world
  • England, Scotland and the Netherlands have banned rodeos outright and many other countries prohibit certain rodeo events.
  • A number of states in the U.S., including California, Rhode Island, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin prohibit the use of certain painful tools, such as the electric prod, or prohibit certain rodeo events.
  • A number of U.S. cities including Pittsburgh, Pasadena, Montgomery, San Francisco, Pompano Beach, Southampton, New York City, Greenburgh, and Baltimore County have nearly banned or strictly limited rodeo events and use of painful tools such as flank straps and electric prods. St. Petersburg, Florida and Fort Wayne, Indiana have banned rodeos outright.
  • In Canada, the city of Vancouver has banned rodeos.