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Is CBC being honest about calf-roping?

B&W Stampede calf roping
Calf-roping at the Calgary Stampede. Is this what CBC Sports is afraid viewers might see?         Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur

Anyone who watches CBC Sports coverage of calf-roping at the Calgary Stampede will notice that the moment the rope is tightening around the calf’s neck the camera will pan back to the rider and horse.  It has long been suspected that this is to avoid showing the calf being brutally jerked to a sudden halt, which might upset viewers.

This issue came up in a VHS interview with CBC Radio’s As it Happens program, which asked the head of CBC Sports if it was true that the camera deliberately panned away from the calf the moment it hit the end of the rope.  His answer was that CBC Sports: “will follow an event from start to finish and make quick in-the-moment decisions as necessary, as we do with all live sports coverage.”

Watch this CBC coverage of calf-roping (which in public relations double-speak they call tie-down roping) and you will note that the camera pans away every time.  Another example here.

If what happens to rodeo calves has to be hidden from the wider public, doesn’t that show how wrong and unacceptable their treatment is?

Please sign our petition against CBC Sports coverage of rodeo cruelty at the Calgary Stampede.

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