It’s surprising and disappointing to learn that the University of British Columbia’s alumni association, Alumni UBC, is offering a trip to the Calgary Stampede rodeo to its members. It’s disappointing for obvious reasons – animals shouldn’t suffer for the sake of entertainment – but surprising because universities and their wider communities are often the agents of progressive social change. A number
The Abbotsford Agrifair’s rodeo has been cancelled. Organizers say the decision to cancel the rodeo was made to save money, but the event has been surrounded in controversy because of the inhumane treatment of rodeo animals. VHS has been campaigning against the Abbotsford rodeo for years, calling media and public attention to cruel events like calf-roping and steer-wrestling. Last year, nearly 2000 VHS
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
We’re changing hearts and minds in the battle against rodeo cruelty in B.C. A new public opinion survey by polling company Insights West shows that 62% of British Columbians are opposed to using animals in rodeos. That’s up six percentage points from a 2013 Insights West poll on the same issue which showed 56% opposed. The new poll also found that only 32% of
Canadaland reports that in 2011, the Calgary Stampede commissioned a piece to run in prestigious magazine Canadian Geographic. Journalist Curtis Gillespie thoroughly investigated, and ultimately wrote a piece entitled “Rodeo under scrutiny: The debate over animal care at the Calgary Stampede.” Among other things, the balanced piece explained that horses were bred specifically to buck; horses who didn’t buck wildly enough were slaughtered.
Last Friday, the Vancouver Sun ran a story about the refusal of the Abbotsford News to run our anti-rodeo ad, pictured above. The ad shows a photo of the steer-wrestling event at the 2008 Abbotsford Agrifair rodeo. As the Sun’s story notes, VHS’s lawyers checked the ad. There is no legal or ethical reason not to run it. The ad is just expressing an opinion on
Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur . There are encouraging signs that attitudes toward rodeo and chuckwagon races in Canada may be changing, if independent opinion in mainstream media is anything to go by. A recent editorial in the Vancouver Sun said that it was “hard to argue” with the description of the Calgary Stampede as “a spectacle of animal abuse.” In the same week, a
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.
The harassment of a moose has rightly provoked shock and anger but rodeo animals face routine abuse and it’s considered entertainment. Video of several men tormenting a moose in northern B.C. has gone viral and caused outrage around the world. Conservation officers have launched an investigation and the perpetrators could face heavy fines if caught and charged. . . .
Anyone who watches CBC Sports coverage of calf-roping at the Calgary Stampede will notice that the moment the rope is tightening around the calf’s neck the camera will pan back to the rider and horse. It has long been suspected that this is to avoid showing the calf being brutally jerked to a sudden halt, which might upset viewers. This issue came up in