Anti-rodeo protesters from Direct Animal Action (DAA) demonstrated at the Mid-Northern Rodeo (09 January 2021) in Whangārei calling for the Government to ban rodeo for good.
Protest organisers were concerned that animals would be injured or killed at the rodeo.
DAA spokesperson Apollo Taito says there’s a history of animal abuse at the Mid-Northern Rodeo.
In November last year, the Whangārei District Court found Northland farmer Derek Robinson guilty of ill-treating rodeo animals after he used a live electric prodder on two distressed steers.
The offences took place at the Mid-Northern Rodeo in two separate events, one in 2016 and the other in 2017.
“We’ve been protesting outside the Mid-Northern Rodeo since 2016 and we’ve had a gutsful of the animal abuse disguised as family entertainment that goes on inside this rodeo.
“We were really pleased that the Mid-Northern Rodeo was cancelled last year due to financial reasons, but the year before that in 2018, we experienced verbal abuse, physical threats and intimidation from the Mid-Northern cowboys.
“And in 2017 we were left shaken after a cowboy e hisrse at our group which included a small child and a woman in a wheelchair.
“If this is how they treat people, it’s no wonder one of their cowboys was prosecuted for animal abuse.
“What can we expect tomorrow? More verbal and physical abuse of our peaceful protesters? More animal abuse and death?
“Enough is enough. It’s well overdue for the Labour Government to follow through on their 2017 pre-election promise to ban the worst aspects of rodeo.
“Voters have given Labour a clear mandate to govern and the Green Party, in a Cooperation Agreement with Labour, have a policy that would see rodeo banned.
“There are no more hand-brakes for Labour to use as excuses. The Government must take action to end rodeo now. Rodeo isn’t kiwi, it’s cruelty.”