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Why does CBC Sports broadcast animal cruelty at the Calgary Stampede?


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Calf being roped at Calgary Stampede. Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur

Tell CBC to stop broadcasting violence toward animals. Sign our petition!

CBC Sports has confirmed to VHS that it will once again broadcast the Calgary Stampede’s rodeo and chuckwagon races in July.  Despite severe budget cuts to its sports coverage, the CBC apparently is keeping its rodeo coverage intact.

VHS has explained to CBC Sports executives that rodeo is considered inhumane by virtually all major animal welfare agencies, including the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and the national SPCAs of the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (where it has been outlawed since 1934).

We have pointed out the obvious fact that roping animals to a sudden halt or twisting their necks until they are bent to the ground will cause fear, pain and stress.  We have asked them how this could possibly be considered entertainment.

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We have also noted that the CBC’s television coverage of calf-roping ensures that the camera pans away from the calf as it hits the end of the rope.  That way, viewers will never see the calf violently jerked off its feet.  If what happens to the calf is not fit for the general public to see, how can the CBC condone the event by covering it?

We sent CBC Sports a link to this video showing a bull being kicked in the head at the Stampede.  We had no reply. Meanwhile, animals continue to be tormented for the sake of entertainment at the Stampede, like these ponies. The CBC doesn’t seem to want to face the truth about rodeo.

We’re asking Canadians who care about animals to let CBC Sports know how they feel about the Calgary Stampede broadcasts.  Please take a minute to sign our petition calling on Trevor Pilling, Head of Programming at CBC Sports, to stop broadcasting rodeo animal cruelty at the Calgary Stampede. 

More information on our Calgary Stampede campaign page.

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24 replies on “Why does CBC Sports broadcast animal cruelty at the Calgary Stampede?”

Dead souled bullies abusing animals for fun, for money. They see no wrong in this. Most were raised in this environment and don’t know better. They lie to themselves telling untruths that, horses love bucking, it doesn’t hurt them, animals are stupid so they don’t care, it is the cowboy way. ….. so cowboy up and get on with it. They think animals are on this planet to use for whatever purpose they see fit. They are selfish, the STS, Service To Self thinkers, the left brain thinkers who have no compassion or empathy for sentient life but their own. They are the ME generation….its all about me and what I want and to hell with the rest. They say they love their animals. They have no idea what true loving is. They raise them to murder them for money. They suck, the devils of the planet.

SO very tired of rodeo activists saying the animals are “like family.” Really? This is how you treat your family?

absolutely unacceptable and disgusting NO animal should be treated this inhumanely…If they really need to put on the tough cowboy act why don’t they chase and rope each other instead of these poor terrified animals…i cannot believe in this time and age that any place on earth would allow this

This heinous behaviour to innocent beings MUST STOP NOW! IT is just sickening that people use the animals in such an abusive way for entertainment and profit!

As long as Alberta continues the abuse of animals in rodeos, etc, I will not travel to Alberta

Why are the CBC continuing to broadcast animal abuse.This is not even Canadian tradition,it was started as a show by an American.This does not portray ranch life past or present.It is not how any sane person handles their livestock.Stop wasting our tax dollars propping up this festival of cruelty

To add to the injury: every bucking horse, at some point, is butchered alive in a Canadian slaughter house. The ones who “retire” do not go to green pastures. Even the valuable studs and broodmares eventually end their lives hanging on a meat hook. As do the chuckwagon horses, and even many of the fine Quarter Horses used for roping, etc. But it’s true for 100% of broncs.

It’s NOT just Canada . Animals are butchered and sold for consumption around the world .Animal cruelty has been around since man arrived on the earth, Point Blank . Rodeos, Zoos, Circus, Marine Land…. ect , holding animals in captivity ( and treating them inhumanely and ALL that goes along with that type of abuse ) for human entertainment and greed * the almighty buck * is wrong pure and simple .

Calves are babies. Calf roping is roping babies by the neck and slamming them to the ground. Horrific. If these rodeo clowns want to be gladiators so badly put them in a ring with some hungry lions. No ropes, no weapons.

There is no reason or excuse to hurt or torture another living thing. “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

There is nothing NATURAL nor HUMANE in the way animals are treated in a rodeo!
This belongs in the past and not in a modern,civilized society!
One day we will look back in shame at our ignorance as we do now at many events such as ”The Roman Circus” and other barbaric human behavior!
”The greatest ethical test that we are ever going to face is the treatment of those who are at our mercy”~ Lyn White.

If you watch the entire interview, you will note that Dr Grandin believes there is a problem with using thoroughbred horses in the chuckwagon races, yet the Stampede continues with their use and has not put any effective pressure on the thoroughbred industry to correct the problem. Dr Grandin believes bucking animals can be “trained” to perform without undue stress. Our view is that, even if that is the case, the animals must undergo significant stress until they reach this level. She also makes clear that rodeo calf-roping is not the same as genuine ranch calf-roping and commends the Stampede for introducing the “no jerk-down” rule, which is a direct result of pressure from our campaigns. Our view is that jerk-downs can still happen in spite of penalties and that the calf is still exposed to fear, pain and stress for the sake of entertainment. It is no secret that Grandin prefers reforms to abolition when it comes to these issues, but it is campaigns like ours that provide the pressure that enables her to make the case for such reforms. The very fact that Dr Grandin commends the Stampede for being open to change and reform, shows that rodeo needs such change. We have asked the Stampede to drop calf-roping and steer-wrestling. We have asked the Stampede to suspend the chuckwagon race until a panel of independent equine experts can determine if it can be made safer. These are reasonable requests. We don’t agree with Dr Grandin on everything but it is clear she feels rodeo needs to change.

Rodeos are cruel and totally inhumane. Only stupid people with small brains believe that rodeos are fun and not harmful to the animals. No animal used to be abused for “entertainment” It is sickening that in this day and age people are clueless about the mistreatment of rodeo animals. Maybe if they see a baby calf have his neck broken as he is being drug to the ground they will see it. Real men love animals . The individuals that participate in rodeos are bullies and lack compassion and brains. !!

Have any of you been to the barns where the chuck horses are kept?? They are family. The drivers make sure the horses needs are taken above their own. And as for calf roping they have made new rules for the cowboys and if they are roped wrong, they get disqualified. Same goes for steer wrestling. Bull riding and bronc riding is not cruel. It does not ‘strap their nuts’, it is put around their hip area and done up. That is what makes them buck. And yes some farmers still use roping to handle cattle,its not just an American thing. Get all the facts before you judge something you clearly know nothing about. If you people think this is cruel, why are you not coming after other animal sports like horse racing and jumping??? Until you understand and do better research, leave this alone!!!

Surely there is a better way to have fun than to purposefully antagonize animals for entertainment – to show off human power over animals with violence as manifested in bull fighting and Rodeos is sickening and demoralizing. It is not ethical entertainment and absolutely nothing to either be proud of or to promote. Please support the Vancouver Humane society’s petition to stop the abuse of these animals.

I am proud to sign this petition. Could you create another petition to send to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council? Perhaps this would send the same message to all broadcasters?

Keep up the great work!

I despair of people changing their cruel ways. These rodeo activities are abominable. How long does it take, and how many times, do we have to point out that animals suffer, and feel dreadful pain before all this stops ? ? ?

By the way, I am very happy to sign this petition. I heard Peter Fricker on CBC radio, talking about this campaign.

Ah yes, the ignorance of facts continues. Today’s rodeo competitor is disqualified for jerking a calf down or any rough handling. Take a look in your own back yard and consider fishing from the perspective of the fish for abject cruelty. Fish experience pain. Those spectacular leaps on the end of the line are not for exercise. Sport fishing, even with a barbless hook for release, would you do that with a dog? Or consider commercial fishing where our slippery friends slowly suffocate by hanging in a net, by the gills, for hours. Not pretty. Traditional, though. There ought to be a law to help enlighten these pathetically misguided Vancouver residents.

The penalties for “jerk-downs” do not prevent them from happening. In any case, the calf is still exposed to fear and stress for the sake of entertainment – it is chased, roped, picked up and thrown to the ground before being tied up. No animal could be treated this way without experiencing fear and stress. You make fair points about fish feeling pain, but VHS cannot conduct campaigns on all animal welfare issues. We do promote humane eating by encouraging a vegetarian diet through initiatives like Meatless Monday. Rodeo is a clear-cut issue because it involves animals being abused for the sake of human amusement. The Calgary Stampede could easily drop calf-roping and steer-wrestling without any impact on the success of the Stampede as a whole.

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