Media Release

Animal advocates condemn government funding of inhumane rodeo events 

VANCOUVER, February 21, 2023 – On Thursday, the Government of British Columbia announced new funding for fairs, festivals, and events; but the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is calling out the concerning inclusion of inhumane rodeo events. 

“Eligible events include sporting events, arts and culture events, community celebrations, agricultural fairs and rodeos,” according to a press release from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, which is headed by Minister Lana Popham. 

“It’s incredibly disappointing to see the Province supporting inhumane and outdated rodeo practices that have been proven to cause animal suffering,” says Emily Pickett, Campaign Director for the VHS. 

The announcement comes less than a month after a new study was published on the stress caused by calf roping, a controversial event which takes place annually at rodeos in B.C. It also arrives on the heels of disturbing video footage released by the VHS, which reveals recurring welfare issues at B.C.’s most recent rodeo events including animals being roughly handled and deliberately agitated. 

Pickett points to recent polling which shows only 26% of British Columbians are in favour of using animals in rodeo. “The majority of British Columbians are opposed to this cruel and outdated practice, yet the Province has made the baffling decision to use our tax dollars to support institutionalized animal exploitation. There are positive and family-friendly events to provide funding for that bring communities together while aligning with our society’s collective values of treating animals with care and respect.” 

The VHS is calling on the Province to side with compassion and evidence by removing any funding for, and supporting a shift away from, cruel rodeo events. This would follow the lead of municipal governments in B.C. – including the City of Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver – and of a growing number of nations and regions worldwide. 

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SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society 

For more information, contact Emily Pickett: 604-416-2903, 

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