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CBC used false information to defend Calgary Stampede

Calf-roping at the Calgary Stampede. Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur


The CBC has been using false information in its responses to concerns about animal welfare at the Calgary Stampede and the CBC’s coverage of the Stampede’s rodeo and chuckwagon races.

In emails to members of the public, the CBC falsely stated that the Alberta SPCA works with the Calgary Stampede and is on-site monitoring events.  The Alberta SPCA has denied that this is the case.

People who have emailed the CBC to complain about its Stampede rodeo broadcasts have been receiving an email response from CBC which states that:

“…Stampede organizers are committed to providing the highest standard of animal care and safeguarding animal welfare. To that end, the organization works with the Calgary Humane Society and the Alberta SPCA. Both groups are on-site monitoring events, and all competing animals are under constant veterinary care and attention throughout the Stampede.”

But when one complainant checked with the Alberta SPCA to see if this was true, she received a reply from the society’s communications manager stating:

“Thank you for contacting me about this email. I will be contacting the CBC to correct its public messages, because the Alberta SPCA doesn’t “work with” the Stampede, and we don’t send officers to monitor Stampede events…”

The complainant’s email from the CBC can be seen here and the email from the Alberta SPCA here.


Yesterday, the Alberta SPCA tweeted a statement confirming that it does not work with the Stampede or monitor rodeo events:

Capture albera spca

The CBC has tweeted an apology saying “it wasn’t our place to speak for the Alberta SPCA or Calgary Stampede.” But the tweet did not address why the CBC was distributing misinformation about the Alberta SPCA’s animal welfare role at the Stampede.

It is not known how many complainants received CBC emails containing the false information.

VHS has an online petition calling on the CBC to stop broadcasting rodeo cruelty at the Stampede.  Also see our related article in the Huffington Post.








animal welfare News/Blog Promoted rodeo

Poll: Most Canadians oppose rodeo

Calf roper at 2006 Russian River Rodeo, Duncans Mills, California

So why does CBC keep broadcasting it?

VHS has long criticized CBC Sports for broadcasting the Calgary Stampede rodeo.  The CBC has refused to end its coverage despite the clear evidence that animals suffer in rodeos.  They’ve told us that the Stampede is “a longstanding Canadian tradition and is popular with millions of Canadians across this country.”

Really? The facts show that when you ask Canadians across this country how they feel about rodeo, most of them are opposed to it.

A new national public opinion survey on animal welfare issues shows only three in ten (31%) Canadians are in favour of using animals in rodeos.  The survey, by polling company Insights West, found that a solid majority of Canadians (63%) are opposed to rodeos and that Alberta is the only province with a majority (57%) in favour of rodeo.

calf ropingcropVHS has relayed the results of the poll to management at CBC Sports and is awaiting a response. During the 2015 Calgary Stampede, VHS launched a petition calling on CBC to end its broadcast of the Stampede rodeo.  If you haven’t signed the petition, please do. More than 11,000 people already have.

Let CBC Sports know that you are among millions of Canadians opposed to rodeo – and you are in the majority. Remind them that this is the 21st century and animal abuse has no place in modern Canada. Tell them that causing animals to suffer for the sake of entertainment is immoral.  Tell them to stop putting cruelty on our television screens and calling it a sport.

Please support our continuing campaign against rodeo cruelty. We convinced the City of Vancouver to ban rodeo and we’ve won victories against the Cloverdale Rodeo in Surrey and the Luxton Rodeo on Vancouver Island. Your donation will help us win more!

More information:

Rodeo cruelty
The Calgary Stampede

News/Blog Promoted rodeo

A helpful tip for CBC Sports

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Rodeo animals are exposed to fear, pain and stress to make them perform.

That’s not sport.  That’s violence toward animals.

Please sign our petition asking CBC Sports to stop broadcasting rodeo cruelty at the Calgary Stampede.