In 2018, VHS drew public attention to two events involving inhumane treatment of bulls.
One was an “extreme rodeo” event at Abbotsford’s Exhibition Park. The event featured bull-riding, extreme freestyle bullfighting, Mexican bull poker and mutton-busting – all of which involve stressing animals to make them perform. The other was a Professional Bull Rider (PBR) event at the Abbotsford Centre.
VHS obtained video of the Abbotsford event, showing bulls being taunted and tormented into performing:
The Abbotsford Extreme Rodeo saw bulls goaded, struck with canes and coerced into performing pointless but dangerous stunts to amuse a handful of bull-riding…
Many people have little sympathy for bulls used in rodeos and bull-riding shows because they are large and powerful and because bull-riders are often injured. But the bulls do not choose to take part in these spectacles and are taunted and tormented to provoke aggression.
The bulls are purposely bred for high aggression and for an unnatural propensity to buck. Even with such breeding, a flank strap is tightened around the bull’s hindquarters to stress the bull further and provoke bucking. In addition, the rider spurs the bull, causing further distress. It should be noted that bull-riding has no connection to ranching; no real cowboy ever rode a bull as part of his work.
It’s true that bull-riding is extremely dangerous for the riders; scientific research has shown that bull-riding has an injury rate 10 times greater than American football, with a high risk of concussion. Boys and young men are attracted by the macho image of bull-riding, risking serious injury and brain damage. Clearly, it’s an activity that is both absurdly dangerous as well as being cruel to animals.
More information on rodeo events.