Calgary media shares VHS billboards on rodeo cruelty

Could the future of the Calgary Stampede be rodeo-free? Public opinion is shifting on the controversial rodeo and chuckwagon racing, and new billboards from the Vancouver Humane Society are raising more awareness about the animal welfare concerns associated with these events.

The billboards are featured in Calgary media outlets including CTV News Calgary, Global News, and the Daily Hive.

Learn more at

CTV News Calgary

Calgary billboards ask people to skip the rodeo, chuckwagon races

The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) has taken out a series of billboard ads around Calgary encouraging people to skip the rodeo and chuckwagon races at the Stampede this summer.

“The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) has taken out a series of billboard ads around Calgary encouraging people to skip the rodeo and chuckwagon races at the Stampede this summer.”

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Global News

Animal rights activists say Stampede ‘not entertainment; it’s cruelty’ – Calgary |

The start of the Calgary Stampede is over 7 weeks away, but the Vancouver Humane Society has already launched a campaign urging Calgarians to skip the rodeo and chuckwagon races.

“‘The billboards encourage people to rethink supporting events that cause animal suffering,’ says the Society’s director of communications, Chantelle Archambault. ‘It’s not entertainment. It’s cruelty.'”

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Daily Hive

Billboards are popping up urging people to skip an iconic Calgary Stampede event | News

There are billboards popping up around Calgary protesting a long-standing and controversial event at the Stampede.

“Billboards are popping up around Calgary protesting a long-standing and controversial event at the Stampede. The billboards, released by the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS), encourage Calgarians to shift their perspectives around the Stampede rodeo and chuckwagon races.”

Read the article

Horse racing season to begin at deadly Hastings Racecourse

  • April 27th marks the beginning of live racing season at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver.
  • Last year, eight horses lost their lives at Hastings.
  • Horses used in racing events endure stress, pain, and risk to their lives due to the high-pressure events, aversive training methods, and the use of painful tools like whips and bits.
  • Horses who no longer generate a profit are at risk of being sent to auction, where they face further trauma and can end up on a slaughterhouse floor.

Can you take the pledge to boycott inhumane horse racing events and add your name in support of protecting horses?

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2023 incidents

Take the pledge to say no to horse racing

By taking the pledge today, you will reflect your concern about recent race horse fatalities and incidents and to sign up to receive updates about the VHS’s upcoming horse racing campaign.

Learn more about the deaths of eight horses at Hastings Racecourse in 2023 here.


New footage captures inhumane handling and stressed animals at B.C. rodeos 

  • Newly released footage from several B.C. rodeos reveals recurring animal welfare issues, including animals being hit, kicked, and having their tail and ears twisted and pulled.  
  • New polling shows growing public opposition to the use of animals in rodeo events. 65% of B.C. residents and 67% of Canadians are opposed to the practice. 
  • Use the VHS’s quick action tool to share this new footage with your city council and B.C.’s Minister of Tourism and to call for a rodeo bylaw and an end to using taxpayer dollars to fund inhumane rodeo events.  
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Take quick action

Use the VHS’s quick action tool below to share this new footage and call for: 

  1. A municipal bylaw prohibiting inhumane rodeo events in your community; 
  2. An end to BC government funding of rodeo events. 

Watch the footage

Footage from the Princeton, Chilliwack, Armstrong and Merritt rodeos reveals recurring animal welfare issues. In the videos, stressed animals are roughly handled, deliberately agitated into fleeing and bucking, and put at risk of serious injury. Clips show animals being roped around the neck; thrown and wrestled to the ground; and kicked with spurs. Animals are seen being hit and kicked; having their tail and ears twisted and pulled. Frightened animals run into fences, thrash in the chutes, and resist handlers.

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How rodeo handlers agitate animals into running & bucking

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Rodeos rely on prey animals’ “fight or flight” fear responses to make them “perform”.

Signs of stress in rodeo animals

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Animals experience fear, discomfort, and pain in rodeos. Watch for these signs of stress in rodeo footage, as seen in 2023 B.C.


Advocacy continues after horse death at Calgary Stampede

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals Media.

This year’s Calgary Stampede once again ended in tragedy with the death of a horse in Friday’s chuckwagon event. The fatal incident brings the total number of animal deaths at the Calgary Stampede to 105, including 75 chuckwagon horses, since the VHS began tracking fatalities in 1986.

In addition to Friday’s devastating incident, the VHS documented rough handling and signs of stress in animals throughout the rodeo events. Watch and share the videos below to help raise awareness of the routine suffering that animals experience during rodeo events. 

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Watch & share the videos:

The above video outlines the many animal welfare concerns that arose at this year’s Calgary Stampede, including the tragic death of a horse used in the chuckwagon races.

Much work is needed to change public sentiment on the suffering of animals in rodeos. When the above video was shared on TikTok, several rodeo supporters commented that they saw “nothing wrong” with the handling of the animals. Hours later, the video was removed from the platform for violating their policy on animal abuse. This inhumane treatment is not simply an unfortunate accident in the rodeo industry—it is considered acceptable and expected as an inherent part of the events.

Please share these videos to help others see how animals suffer in rodeos and support a wider movement away from supporting inhumane animal events.

Take the #SayNoToRodeo pledge

61% of Canadians are opposed to the use of animals in rodeo. Take the #SayNoToRodeo pledge, which will be shared with decision-makers to reflect public opposition to inhumane rodeo events.

Call for a ban on inhumane rodeo events in your community

Some communities, including the City of Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver, and Port Moody, have municipal bylaws in place to prohibit inhumane rodeo events and practices. Call on your city council to follow this lead by implementing a bylaw in your community! 

This action has now ended.

4,143 people used this tool to call for municipal bylaws banning inhumane rodeo events. Thank you for taking action.

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