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Why is a convicted wildlife poacher on the board of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association?

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Rodeo isn’t known for its kindness to animals but its board members should be held to some standard of ethical behaviour.

VHS calls for removal of rodeo association board member



The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association’s Animal Welfare Guide states that it “supports the responsible and humane use of animals and believes that all animals utilized in entertainment, industry and sport should be afforded proper care and management.”

Presumably, this includes the “sport” of hunting but one of the CPRA’s board directors, Cody Cassidy, doesn’t seem to afford wildlife “proper care and management.”  In fact, Mr. Cassidy pleaded guilty to several poaching-related charges in July of last year, according to the Red Deer Advocate. The charges included hunting without a licence, possession of wildlife and controlled animals, and providing false or misleading information. Mr. Cassidy received a $16,000 fine and a one-year judicial order preventing him from obtaining an outfitting-guide permit.

The presiding judge at Red Deer Provincial Court cited Mr. Cassidy’s history of these types of offences, including guiding on private property without permission, failing to post signs in an area of black bear bait, unauthorized hunting and discharging a firearm on private property without permission.

Mr. Cassidy’s father Greg, a champion steer-wrestler also pleaded guilty to poaching charges in the same case. He was inducted into the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame just months later.

Cody Cassidy operates Big Knife outfitters, which takes clients on moose hunts. His father Greg volunteers with the company. The Red Deer Advocate’s account of the court case includes a description of the hunt, which aside from the poaching offences, raises concerns about the hunt itself. It states: “Greg and the client were hunting at one of the Central Alberta locations when they spotted a moose.The client shot the moose with one arrow, which did not kill the moose. Cody joined the hunt and they tracked the moose for three hours. When they caught up with the moose, they shot it with a few more arrows, killing it.” It is difficult to see how this animal could not have suffered during the three hours after it was wounded.

VHS has written to CPRA president Murry Milan, calling for Mr. Cassidy to be removed from the board. The letter states: “Clearly, these are serious offences for someone in a position of responsibility at the CPRA, who should be held to the highest ethical standards.  We find it unacceptable that Mr. Cassidy remains as director on the CPRA board.”

The CPRA can be contacted at




1 reply on “Why is a convicted wildlife poacher on the board of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association?”

No wonder rodeos are so cruel to animals if a board member of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association has been convicted of poaching. Poaching is clearly cruel and indifferent. Shame! Surely you should set much higher standards.

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