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animal welfare cruelty News/Blog

Travel writers, truth and animal welfare

Travel writers should pay attention to animal welfare at events like rodeos

Last week, a travel article appeared on the website of Fodor’s, the world’s largest publisher of travel and tourism information, describing the author’s recent visit to the Calgary Stampede.

The article gushed over the Stampede’s recovery from the flood in June and detailed all the activities to be enjoyed, summing up the experience  this way: “Part rodeo, part party, part fair, part food fest, all fun; the Calgary Stampede’s has bucked and two-stepped its way into stardom. That’s how Canada does the rodeo, come hell or high water. Yahoo!”

A similar article, by the same author, appeared on a Vancouver-based travel website.  In both pieces, not a single mention was made of the animal welfare issues at the Stampede rodeo.  Nor were this year’s deaths of two rodeo animals, a steer and a horse, despite the fact they made headlines across the country.

No one expects travel writers to promote the views of animal advocates when referring to activities involving animal welfare controversies, but shouldn’t such controversies at least be mentioned?  Shouldn’t people who care about animals be warned about any animal welfare issues at an event? Any international tourist reading these pieces would have no idea of the potential harm and suffering animals are exposed to at rodeos.

It is difficult for animal advocates to bring the truth about rodeo to the public’s attention, especially especially when faced with a powerful public relations machine like the Calgary Stampede.  It’s even more difficult when travel writers uncritically accept the Stampede’s public relations agenda.

 

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animal welfare cruelty News/Blog rodeo

VHS response to horse death at Stampede

July 13, 2013

VHS is extremely sorry to hear of the death of another horse at the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races.

It is getting harder for the public to believe that these deaths are just coincidence or bad luck. There is something inherently unsafe about the race.

Nothing the Stampede has done has stopped horses dying.

VHS is reiterating its call for the Stampede to suspend the chuckwagon race and have an independent panel of experts review the event to determine if anything can be done to make it safe.

More than 50 horses have died at the Stampede since 1986.

-ends-

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advertising cruelty News/Blog rodeo

VHS response to steer death

Steer death at Calgary Stampede

VHS has issued the following news release:

Steer killed at Calgary Stampede rodeo
Vancouver Humane Society calls for event to be suspended

 

The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) has called for the suspension of steer-wrestling at the Calgary Stampede rodeo after an animal was badly injured in the event and had to be euthanized.  Another steer died in the event during the 2009 Stampede.

“Why should animals suffer and die just to entertain a crowd,” said VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker.  “If these events are so hard on the animals that it can kill them, it’s obvious they are suffering pain and stress.”

Fricker said that rules changes made by the Stampede to make steer-wrestling safe had obviously not worked.  He said the event should be suspended and reviewed by an independent panel of experts to determine if it could be made humane and safe.

VHS says that steer-wrestling has no historical connection to ranching and was invented for rodeos.  “It has nothing to do with agricultural heritage,” said Fricker.  “It’s just a cruel and dangerous circus act.”
-ends-

 

 

Categories
animal welfare cruelty News/Blog rodeo

VHS launches ad against calf-roping

Vancouver Humane Society ad against calf-roping

The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is running a full-page ad calling for a ban on calf-roping in a Calgary newspaper.  The ad, shown above, appears in the July 4 edition of Fast Forward Weekly on page 3.

The ad contrasts the compassion of basic human kindness with the cruelty of calf-roping and calls on the Calgary Stampede to “have a heart for animals” and ban the rodeo event.

A high-resolution pdf version of the ad is here.

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animal welfare compassion fundraising News/Blog Scotiabank

VHS reaches Scotiabank Charity Challenge goal of $25,000!

photo of 2013 Scotiabank charity Chicken Runners from VHS
Some of the Chicken Runners Team after the race: From left to right: Jennifer Kelly, Miles Linklater, Leanne McConnachie, Debra Probert, Alexandra Cadman, Kaitlyn Anderson, Liberty Mulkani, Anneliese Probert, Odie Probert (asleep).

We did it! We reached (and exceeded!) our goal of $25,000 at the 2013 Scotiabank Charity Challenge!

On Sunday, June 23, 2013, VHS supporters walked or ran in support of the Vancouver Humane Society’s work on behalf of animals.  To date, we have raised $25,626 from 273 sponsors of our team members. That’s amazing!

There is still time to donate (and you can check out how much each of our team members raised) – but hurry, donations must be received by July 8th.

Even though we exceeded our goal, your donation will not only make a difference to an animal that needs help, but it will also improve VHS’s chances of winning an extra $5,000 Scotiabank award for the highest amount raised per runner! We won it last year, thanks to many of you, and we’re hopeful that we’re in the running again (as of now, VHS is in 4th place overall).

This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we’re extremely grateful to everyone for such incredible support. Every single donor will receive a personalized thank you from the VHS Board of Directors and staff.

Maybe you can run (or walk) for VHS next year. Watch this space for more updates!

Categories
animal welfare cruelty News/Blog rodeo

Who opposes rodeo?

Events like steer-wresting are cruel.  That's why VHS opposes rodeo.

 

Rodeo promoters like the public to think that it’s just a few animal rights activists who oppose rodeos.  In fact, mainstream animal welfare agencies throughout the civilized world are opposed to rodeo events like calf-roping and steer-wrestling, as these position statements show:

Canadian Federation of Humane Societies 
Calgary Humane Society 
British Columbia SPCA
Ottawa Humane Society (pdf file – see pg. 9)
American SPCA
Australian RSPCA
Royal New Zealand SPCA (pdf file – see 6.4)
Humane Society of the United States