Compassionate Canadians must write to Calgary’s mayor. Here’s why:
Since his election in 2010, Mayor Nenshi has done much to enhance Calgary’s image as a progressive city with a heart. But the city’s image remains tarnished by the cruelty inflicted on animals during the annual Calgary Stampede rodeo. And calf-roping is perhaps the cruellest rodeo event of all.
Three-month old calves are goaded out of the chute at full speed (up to 27 miles per hour). The terrified animal is then chased by a mounted rider who ropes the calf to a sudden, bone-jarring halt, picks him up and slams him to the ground. The event is timed and the rider who does it fastest wins.
The time pressure of the event and the prize money at stake can lead to poor roping, harsh handling and mistakes by riders – all of which put the calf at risk of injury. But it is not just the risk of injury that is the problem with calf-roping. It’s the fear.
All cattle are “prey” animals and research has shown they are particularly sensitive to fear. Dr. Temple Grandin, the distinguished animal behaviourist, has written that fear is “so bad” for animals it can be worse than pain.
There can be no doubt that a three-month-old calf, goaded and chased into an arena with a shouting crowd is suffering even before the rope pulls him off his feet. How can tormenting an animal in this way be acceptable as entertainment? Treating a dog this way would result in cruelty charges.
Mayor Nenshi, as a member of the Stampede’s board of directors, could be a voice for compassion by urging the board to stop the unconscionable cruelty of calf-roping. By taking this step, the Stampede could begin evolving into an acceptable form of entertainment – one that doesn’t rely on the abuse of animals.
Please tell Mayor Nenshi to speak up for the innocent calves who suffer for the sake of human amusement by emailing him this letter.
More information on the Calgary Stampede rodeo here.