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What happened at the Calgary Stampede rodeo and chuckwagon races in 2024?

Photo: Sportsnet

  • Four animals were killed in the Calgary Stampede’s animal events in 2024: three horses used in chuckwagon racing and a steer used in steer wrestling.
  • This was the deadliest event since 2019 and brings the death toll at the Stampede’s animal events to at least 109 since 1986.
  • Animals were also roughly handled and showed visible signs of fear and stress.
  • Please take two quick actions below to protect animals from suffering in the Calgary Stampede rodeo and chuckwagon races.
Take action

Content warning: The following video depicts fatal incidents and animals showing signs of stress and fear.

What happened at the 2024 Calgary Stampede rodeo?

New footage shows stress, suffering, and serious injuries resulting in euthanasia at the 2024 Calgary Stampede rodeo. Take action to end inhumane rodeo events at: vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca/rodeos

Take action

Take the #SayNoToRodeo pledge

The majority of Canadians disagree with the use of animals in calf roping, steer wrestling, bull and bronc riding, and chuckwagon racing. Take the #SayNoToRodeo pledge to reflect your opposition to inhumane rodeo and chuckwagon events. The number of signatures will be referenced in engagement with decision-makers.

Send a message to Calgary Stampede organizers

Send a message to the Calgary Stampede calling for an end to inhumane animal events, which result in near-annual deaths and shocking suffering. Below are some key points you may wish to consider in your message.

Please use your own words and do not copy and paste. Please also remain respectful in your message.

  • Why you’re writing: Reference the fatal incidents during this year’s steer wrestling event and chuckwagon races.
  • This is an ongoing animal welfare issue: 109 animals have died since 1986 (when tracking of fatalities began) and animals die almost every year.
  • Your request: That Stampede organizers remove the rodeo and chuckwagon events from the Stampede and focus instead on the many other activities and attractions that don’t put animals in harm’s way.
Send a message (Contact form)

Having issues with the Calgary Stampede’s contact form? You can email them directly at: info@calgarystampede.com.

Send an email
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Vancouver Humane Society, Animal Justice warn of possible violations at Kelowna bull riding event

Animal rights groups warn of possible violations at Kelowna bull riding event

The Professional Bull Riders is holding an event in Kelowna on July 18

Animal Justice and the Vancouver Humane Society are raising concerns about a bull riding event scheduled for Prospera Place in Kelowna on July 18.

“The groups have alerted RCMP and the BC SPCA about potential violations of B.C.’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Canada’s Criminal Code during the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) event.”

“‘If the event proceeds as planned on Thursday, bulls will be compelled to buck through the use of hard metal spurs and flank straps specifically designed to cause discomfort, combined with the unnatural sensation of a rider gripping tightly to their back in a loud, chaotic environment in front of thousands of spectators,’ reads a joint media release.”

Read the article
Take action for animals used in rodeo
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Three animals dead in four days at the Calgary Stampede rodeo & chuckwagon events: Media

Photo: Sportsnet

The public is shocked and disturbed as three animals have died in the first four days of the Calgary Stampede’s animal events. Animals die in the Stampede’s rodeo and chuckwagon races nearly every year, and the VHS has been advocating for an end to these inhumane and deadly events for decades.

Read the details of the latest tragic incidents in wide-reaching media coverage below, and speak up against animal suffering at the Calgary Stampede.

Learn more & take action

Calgary Herald

Three animals euthanized after sustaining injuries during Calgary Stampede rodeo

Three animals have been put down following injuries sustained during rodeo events as part of Calgary Stampede 2024.

“An injured steer was euthanized Monday, making it the third animal to die during the 2024 Calgary Stampede.”

“The latest deaths led the Vancouver Humane Society to renew its call for the Stampede to end ‘inhumane’ rodeo and chuckwagon events.”

Read the article

CTV News Calgary

Two animals euthanized after being injured during Calgary Stampede rodeo

A steer that was injured during the Calgary Stampede’s rodeo competition on Monday night had to be euthanized, the second animal to die during this year’s competition, event organizers confirmed.

“The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS), which has been in opposition to the Calgary Stampede rodeo events for some time, said the death of the steer illustrates exactly why the competition should end.”

“Between 1986, when the VHS began tracking fatalities, and 2023, 105 animals lost their lives in the rodeo and chuckwagon races, the group said.”

Read the article

CBC

Steer, 2 horses euthanized at Calgary Stampede rodeo competition | CBC News

A third animal has been euthanized at the Calgary Stampede’s rodeo competition.

“A third animal has been euthanized at the Calgary Stampede’s rodeo competition.”

“The Vancouver Humane Society issued a statement calling for an end to the Stampede’s animal events.”

Read the article

National Post

Steer, two horses euthanized at Calgary Stampede rodeo competition

CALGARY – A third animal has been euthanized at the Calgary Stampede’s rodeo competition.

“The Vancouver Humane Society issued a statement calling for an end to the Stampede’s animal events.”

“‘How many animals will die in these events before the Calgary Stampede does the right thing and leaves them in the past,’ Emily Pickett with the humane society said in a release.”

Read the article

City News Calgary

Calgary Stampede: Injured chuckwagon horse, steer euthanized

Calgary Stampede officials say a horse and a steer have sustained injuries that led to them being put down.

“The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is speaking out following the news of the animals’ deaths.”

“‘We know that animals died almost every year at the Calgary Stampede, but this year, animals have died almost every day,’ said VHS campaign director Emily Pickett.”

“The group claims 108 animals have died at the Stampede rodeo and chuckwagon races since it began tracking fatalities in 1986.”

Read the article

The Daily Hive

Two horses, steer euthanized at Calgary Stampede | News

The Calgary Stampede rodeo has already seen three animal deaths this year, and it’s sparking outrage from animal rights advocates.

“The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) says it’s calling for an end to the Calgary Stampede’s deadly animal events after Monday’s steer wrestling event, which appeared to result in a fatal injury.”

“‘You don’t need to be an animal behaviour expert to see the fear in the eyes of a steer being wrestled to the ground. But we still have research proving that animals experience visible signs of stress and elevated stress hormones in rodeos,’ says Emily Pickett, VHS campaign director.”

Read the article
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Steer and three horses dead in Calgary Stampede’s cruel animal events

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur \ We Animals Media

  • Just four days into the Calgary Stampede rodeo and chuckwagon races, two horses used in the chuckwagon races and a steer used in steer wrestling have been sadly euthanized due to serious injuries.
  • On Friday, July 5th, a horse sustained an injury due to wagon interference during the sixth heat and was euthanized, according to media reports.
  • On Saturday, July 6th, an outrider horse sustained a serious injury during the second heat of the chuckwagon races and was euthanized. The heat was not aired on Sportsnet, citing an issue on another team where a driver fell out of the wagon.
  • On Monday, July 8th, a steer sustained a serious injury during a steer wrestling event and was euthanized. In the footage from Sportsnet, a contestant twists the steer’s neck back until the steer falls to the ground, remaining stiff and motionless. Staff rush into the arena with medical kits.
  • On Saturday, July 13th, a horse suffered a fracture during the eighth heat of the chuckwagon races and was euthanized.
Take action
Learn more

Content warning: The following video depicts the serious injury of a steer, which results in him being euthanized.

Fatal injury at Calgary Stampede steer wrestling, July 8, 2024

Footage from the Calgary Stampede on July 8, 2024 shows a steer being wrestled to the ground. He sustains a serious injury before staff rush into the arena with medical kits. The Calgary Stampede has confirmed that the steer was euthanized as a result of this injury. Footage: Sportsnet.

Take action

Send a message to Calgary Stampede organizers

Send a message to the Calgary Stampede calling for an end to inhumane animal events, which result in near-annual deaths and shocking suffering. Below are some key points you may wish to consider in your message.

Please use your own words and do not copy and paste. Please also remain respectful in your message.

  • Why you’re writing: Reference the fatal incidents during the steer wrestling event and during the chuckwagon races.
  • This is an ongoing animal welfare issue: 100+ animals have died since 1986 (when tracking of fatalities began) and that animals die almost every year.
  • Your request: That Stampede organizers remove the rodeo and chuckwagon events from the Stampede and focus instead on the many other activities and attractions that don’t put animals in harm’s way.
Send a message (Contact form)

Having issues with the Calgary Stampede’s contact form? You can email them directly at: info@calgarystampede.com.

Send an email

Take the #SayNoToRodeo pledge

67% of Canadians are opposed to the use of animals in rodeo. Take the #SayNoToRodeo pledge to reflect your opposition to inhumane rodeo and chuckwagon events. The number of signatures will be referenced in engagement with decision-makers.

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B.C. rodeo footage prompts cruelty complaint while government continues funding: Take action

  • With the 2024 rodeo season underway, the VHS is raising concerns about the treatment of animals at recent rodeos in Clinton and Keremeos, including two egregious incidents at the Clinton rodeo.
  • The incidents have since been reported to the BC SPCA.
  • The VHS is also speaking out about a new round of government funding awarded to rodeos, including the Clinton rodeo. 
  • Use the quick action tool to speak out.
Take action
Read & watch update
Public funding of rodeo

Take quick action

Join the VHS in calling on the B.C. government to: 

  1. Stop providing public funding to events that include rodeos; 
  2. Do more to protect animals from inhumane treatment in rodeo events. 

Cruelty allegations at the Clinton rodeo 

  • Footage shows handlers inhumanely attempting to move a visibly stressed bull from one area to another. The bull is dragged and choked by a tightened rope around his neck and an electric prod appears to be used on the animal repeatedly, including on the animal’s anus.  
  • Another clip shows an agitated horse being repeatedly struck in the face while in the bucking chute. The horse attempts to back away from the handler, but the handler continues to follow and strike the horse. The handler proceeds to punch the horse in the neck and the horse responds by dangerously rearing up in the chute. 
  • Other clips capture stressed animals being roughly handled, deliberately agitated, and put at risk of serious injury. 

Cruelty allegations at the 2024 Clinton rodeo

New footage from the 2024 Clinton rodeo in British Columbia captures concerning treatment of animals, including rough handling, risk of injury, and stress and fear responses in animals. Take action to support an end to inhumane rodeo events at: vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca/rodeos

Stress & suffering at Keremeos rodeo 

  • Footage shows rough handling, including animals being hit, having their tail pulled and twisted, and being deliberately agitated so they burst out of the chute at high speed. 
  • Several clips show animals being put at risk of injury, including animals falling, being choked and dragged by the rope around their neck, and limbs getting stuck in the chutes. 
  • Other clips capture visibly stressed animals thrashing in the chutes and resisting handlers.  

Stress and suffering at the 2024 Keremeos rodeo

New footage from the 2024 Keremeos rodeo in British Columbia captures concerning treatment of animals, including rough handling, risk of injury, and stress and fear responses in animals. Take action to support an end to inhumane rodeo events at: vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca/rodeos

BC government continues to fund rodeos 

This spring, the B.C. Ministry of Tourism announced a new round of public funding for B.C. events, including rodeos. Through the Ministry’s Fairs, Festivals & Events fund, more than $680,000 was awarded to events that include rodeos, including $6,400 for the Clinton rodeo.  

Last year, the VHS documented animals being roughly handled, deliberately agitated, and exhibiting signs of stress and suffering at several rodeos that received B.C. government funding.  

The VHS continues to strongly oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to fund rodeo events, citing systemic animal welfare issues and strong public opposition to the use of animals in rodeos. The VHS has requested a meeting with the Ministry of Tourism to discuss the matter.  

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Tell the Calgary Stampede to cut the cruelty

The 2024 Calgary Stampede is underway from July 5-14, and with it comes the controversial rodeo and deadly chuckwagon races that result in animal fatalities nearly every year.

To date, at least 105 animals have died at the Calgary Stampede since tracking began in 1986. 

The VHS continues to call on the Calgary Stampede to cut the cruelty and keep the fun.  

Take action
Learn more

Take action

Take the #SayNoToRodeo pledge

67% of Canadians are opposed to the use of animals in rodeo. Take the #SayNoToRodeo pledge to reflect your opposition to inhumane rodeo and chuckwagon events. 

Follow & share Rodeo Truth

Check out RodeoTruth.com for more information about the rodeo and chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede. This public awareness project is a collaboration between the Vancouver Humane Society and concerned Calgarians.  

To keep spreading the word about why the Calgary Stampede should buck inhumane animal events, follow Rodeo Truth on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok and share the posts. 

Learn more

Near-annual fatalities 

Nearly every year, there are animal deaths at the Calgary Stampede. 105 animals have lost their lives at the Stampede since 1986, when the VHS began keeping track. Most deaths occur during the chuckwagon races due to the fast pace and close proximity of the horses and wagons.

Injuries and deaths may also be underreported, as it can take up to 48 hours after an incident for an injury to present.  

Screenshot: CBC News

A bull in the ring at The Calgary Stampede rodeo

Animal welfare concerns

Many rodeo events rely on the use of fear, stress, and discomfort to make animals flee and buck through tools and methods like spurs, flank straps, and rough handling. This also puts them at unnecessary risk of injury and death. 

Animals demonstrate visible signs of stress during rodeo events, including the presence of “eye white” when their eyes roll back, excessive salivation, vocalization, resisting handlers, and urination and defecation. Research demonstrates that calves experience acute stress and negative emotional states when they are chased and roped.  

Many rodeo events contradict industry requirements for the handling of farmed animals, which state that quiet handling techniques must be used and that abusive handling is unacceptable. If these rodeo practices were used on farms, they would be illegal.   

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals Media

Growing public opposition

Public polling in recent years reflects growing opposition to rodeo: 

  • 2022 poll: Removal of the rodeo and chuckwagon events from the Stampede program would have virtually no impact on attendance rates and would bring in new crowds. 
  • 2024 poll: More than half of Calgarians oppose government funding being provided to rodeo events. Nationally, almost two thirds of Canadians also oppose such funding being given to rodeos. 
A pie graph indicating 61% on a background of a hand holding a rope used for rodeo
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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?

Take pledge
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.

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Wins for animals in 2023

Happy new year! As we celebrate and prepare to build on last year’s momentum for animals in 2024, here is a look back on some of the incredible achievements that animal allies like you made possible last year. 

Watch the video

Making life better for pets

Hundreds of pets received life-saving care

With rising costs of living and a rescue system struggling to meet the needs of animals, programs that keep loved animals in their homes are more essential than ever. Supporters from the community generously helped 580 animals to receive life-saving veterinary support through the VHS’s McVitie Fund.

Beloved companion animals like Arlo, who was diagnosed with a life-threatening liver condition called hepatic lipidosis, received the care they need and returned safely to their families thanks to donations from animal lovers like you.

Help pets in need

Helping People and Pets in Crisis helped families with pets find housing

The VHS’s Helping People and Pets in Crisis program helped 143 animals to access preventative care such as spays, neuters, and vaccines. These procedures enabled them and their 120 guardians to access stable housing where they could be safe and together.

Outreach helped pets in Vancouver’s vulnerable communities

At the VHS’s annual Because They Matter event, staff and volunteers met in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community to share veterinary support resources, pet toys, leashes, harnesses, blankets, and more essential supplies with animals and their guardians who spend their days on the streets. The team handed out about 400 pamphlets and thousands of pet supplies over the course of the day!

The McVitie team also connected with pet guardians living on a low income at Pet Fair for People Care events by Community Veterinary Outreach.

Training helped organizations meet pet guardians where they are at

The VHS’s training program helped organizations across Canada meet animal guardians where they are at with trauma-informed, culturally safe care. The program welcomed 805 attendees through online courses, the team met nine organizations for face-to-face workshops, and live webinars reached 137 attendees!

Sign up for free

Speaking up for animals in entertainment

Saying no to horse racing

Last year, the VHS and supporters spoke out against the use of horses in dangerous racing events after a serious of fatal incidents at Hastings Racecourse. Concerns from the VHS were covered in 19 media outlets including Global News, City News Vancouver, The Aldergrove Star, and Victoria News. An opinion piece was published in the Daily Hive to raise awareness about the dangers posed to racehorses and to call on Vancouverites not to attend racing events.

The VHS also shared a pledge to say no to horse racing, which was signed by more than 860 people.

Standing up for animals used in the Calgary Stampede

VHS supporters rallied against rodeo cruelty in 2023! More than 15,000 people visited the RodeoTruth.com website, building on the momentum of last year’s awareness campaign. More than 1,800 people took the pledge to #SayNoToRodeo and the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede.

2023 marked the 100th year of chuckwagon racing at the Calgary Stampede, which meant the races were featured prominently in media and event promotion. The VHS raised concerns about dangerous and inhumane races in the Daily Hive. Following a chuckwagon incident that resulted in yet another horse death, the VHS’s response was covered in outlets including Global News.

Opposing inhumane rodeo events in B.C.

In 2023, the Province of B.C. offered nearly $800,000 in taxpayer dollars to events that included rodeos. The VHS published two opinion pieces raising concerns about provincial funding for rodeos, “It’s time to stop using taxpayer money to fund inhumane events” and “Taxpayer money should NOT be funding rodeos in BC“.

The VHS also released concerning footage following the province’s rodeo season, which revealed stressed animals and rough handling. Some of this footage was featured in a VHS piece published in the Daily Hive entitled “A stressful and fear-filled glimpse into an animal’s first rodeo“.

Public opposition to rodeo is growing in B.C.—65% of residents are opposed to the practice, and advocates continue to hold protests at controversial rodeo events.

Take action on rodeo

A win for animals in Port Moody!

More than 8,000 advocates signed the VHS’s actions calling for an end to provincial funding of rodeos and for municipal bans on inhumane rodeo events.

The City of Port Moody responded to the public demand for change, with City Council unanimously voting for a bylaw prohibiting events including bucking, roping, wrestling, and mutton busting!

Port Moody joins the City of Vancouver and District of North Vancouver in introducing rodeo bylaws to protect animals.

Protecting farmed animals

Calling for transparency for farmed animals

A number of undercover investigations last year found horrific suffering on farms and in slaughterhouses in B.C. Advocates took strong action speaking out against this treatment of animals, with more than 8,500 supporters demanding that the B.C. government introduce greater protections including video surveillance, unannouced inspections, and meaningful penalties for industry stakeholders found guilty of cruelty.

Another 4,000 allies used the VHS’s quick action tool to oppose Bill C-275, a federal “ag-gag” bill which would criminalize whistleblowers and undercover investigators who expose animal cruelty or welfare issues on farms. You can read more about concerns with this bill in a joint piece written by the VHS and Animal Justice, “New bill would silence those who shed light on animal cruelty“.

New Dairy Code of Practice released

In 2022, the VHS and other animal organizations across Canada spoke out for animals during a consultation period on the National Farm Animal Care Council’s (NFACC) Dairy Cattle Code of Practice, which provides guidelines for the care of dairy cows on farms across Canada, and shared tips on how to call for much-needed improvements during the public comment period. 

Thousands of animal advocates and concerned consumers responded, and the Code received a record-setting 5,800+ comments! The strong public response during the public consultation prompted some positive changes to the new Code released in 2023, including stronger restrictions around abusive handling, changes to housing models, and a ban on branding. However, the VHS continues to draw attention to several areas of the Code which still fall short of expectations through messages like an opinion piece published in The Province.

Working to end live horse exports for slaughter

The VHS team was hard at work raising awareness and opposition of the cruel live horse export industry. The VHS Partnered with Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) President Sinikka Crosland to release an episode of The Informed Animal Ally, submitted a letter with animal organizations nationwide that led to a meeting with government officials, and shared a quick action supported by more than 6,714 supporters!

Thanks to the efforts of advocates across the country, 2 bills have been introduced to ban the industry!

Photo: Canadian Horse Defence Coalition
Take action on horse exports

Giving Tuesday donors helped farmed animals today and in the future

On Giving Tuesday, the VHS partnered with The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary to raise funds for vital animal supplies to care for rescued animals in a loving forever home, life-saving veterinary support, and advocacy to create meaningful changes for animals. Kind animal lovers supported animals through both organizations by donating or shopping at participating businesses, and donations were matched by generous sponsors including Panago Pizza, Vicky Reshetylo, Fraser Hall, and Spearhead Trucking Company.

Allies like you helped to raised a record-breaking $23,500 to help animals! This is enough funds:

  • …to cover food for all the cows of the Happy Herd for eight months
  • …AND for fourteen vet visits to the Happy Herd
  • …AND to cover food costs for all 22 goats at the Happy Herd for six months 
  • …AND for lifesaving tests for 35 pets in need through the VHS’s McVitie Fund
  • …AND to reach 156,922 animal allies to advocate for meaningful policy changes that will improve animal lives!

Plant-based advocacy protected animals by putting more plants on people’s plates

The VHS’s Plant University team was hard at work last year making plant-based eating more accessible and sharing information on how to make simple, compassionate changes.

The VHS released polling results that reveal plant-based eating is becoming more popular in the Lower Mainland. This poll also informed an impact report which outlined how one person can save money and reduce their environmental impact by transitioning to a plant-based diet. The report was covered in 23 media outlets including the Canadian Geographic and Kamloops Now, and the VHS was invited to speak about it at an event held at UBC Robson.

Plant University reached more people with information about plant-based eating! Messages about saving money and reducing land use and emissions were shared through radio ads, billboards, and bus ads. The team also developed a toolkit to help students learn about plant-based eating and shared a translated plant-based beginner’s guide to reach Punjabi speakers. This information reached more than two million people!

A kinder future for all species

Thank you for helping animals in 2023! Your support will help to create a kinder, more humane future for animals. Can you keep the momentum going by taking action on the current campaigns to end animal suffering or making a donation toward vital animal programs and advocacy?

Take action
Donate now
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BC pig farm accused of cruelty—again

Photo: Animal Justice

Excelsior Hog Farm is in the news again after disturbing new undercover footage, allegedly filmed at the Abbotsford farm between April and June 2023, was released by Animal Justice.  

The footage shows:

  • cruel handling practices, including pigs being kicked in the stomach and face, and struck with metal rods and plastic boards;
  • injured pigs with hernias, pressure sores, open wounds and leg injuries; and
  • filthy conditions, including dead and rotting bodies of pigs and partially eaten bodies of piglets, and floors caked in feces and what appears to be blood and feces in some water troughs. 
Take action
Watch the video (Warning: Graphic content)

Take action

Call for meaningful action to protect farmed animals, including: 

  • Government-mandated and proactively enforced farmed animal welfare regulations;  
  • Publicly available reports of independent, third-party audits on farms and in slaughterhouses, including consistent video surveillance monitoring for real transparency; and 
  • Appropriate deterrents to prevent animal cruelty, including unannounced inspections and effective penalties for industry stakeholders who are found guilty of animal cruelty. 

Fill out the form below to send this important message to your Member of B.C.’s Legislative Assembly (MLA), B.C.’s Premier, and B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture. Feel free to personalize the message.

Live outside of Canada? You can email B.C.’s Premier at premier@gov.bc.ca and the Minister of Agriculture at AF.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Not the first time Excelsior accused of cruelty

This comes after a previous undercover investigation at the farm in 2019, which also showed concerning on-farm conditions and treatment of pigs. The footage included clips of dead and dying pigs in unsanitary conditions and cruel handling, including piglets being castrated without the use of painkillers.

Despite this evidence, the farm’s owners were never charged or held accountable. Instead, two advocates involved in a peaceful protest and sit-in that took place on the farm, have been convicted and face jail time. Both are appealing their convictions. 

Second major undercover investigation in B.C. this year

While the animal agriculture industry attempts to suggest instances like this are the exception to the rule and don’t represent the industry as a whole, the reality is that numerous investigations over the years have revealed widespread animal cruelty and welfare issues on farms and in slaughterhouses.  

In February 2023, undercover footage from a Pitt Meadows-based slaughterhouse, Meadow Valley Meats, showed animals being hit, kicked and thrown to the ground; inhumane use of an electric prod; frightened animals crowding together in the hallways and panicked attempts to escape; and improper slaughter techniques that led to significant animal suffering.

Like Excelsior Hog Farm, this was not the first incident involving the company. Media reports that the company, formerly called Pitt Meadows Meats, pled guilty in 2015 to selling E. Coli-tainted meat and after the plant manager knowingly decided not to recall it.  

The new footage, along with the many other previous undercover investigations in B.C., make it clear that there are serious, systemic issues across the animal agriculture industry. 

Back to take action
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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.  
Take action
Watch the video
Learn more

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.

What happened at B.C. rodeos in 2023?

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.

How rodeo handlers agitate animals into running & bucking

How are animals agitated into fleeing & bucking at rodeos?

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

Signs of stress in rodeo animals

Signs of stress in rodeo animals

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