VHS calls for end to cruel rodeo events at Williams Lake Stampede

Media release
June 26, 2017

Humane society calls for end to cruel rodeo events at Williams Lake Stampede

Vancouver – The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is calling for an end to three rodeo events at B.C.’s Williams Lake Stampede (June 29 – July 2).

VHS has written to the City of Williams Lake, urging the mayor and council to ban calf-roping, steer-wrestling and the wild horse race at the Stampede.  The society has also written to the president of the Williams Lake Stampede Association, requesting that the association voluntarily drop the events from the rodeo program.  VHS also sent the council and association photographs taken at the 2016 Stampede showing rodeo animals in distress.

In its letter to the city council, VHS described the events depicted in the photos: “Terrified calves, only three months old, are chased, roped to a sudden halt, picked up and thrown to the ground before being tied up.  Steers have their necks twisted until they are literally bent to the ground.  Sensitive horses are brutally mobbed by men using force to make the animal submit to their will.”

VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker said: “Removing these three events would be a major step forward in the evolution of the rodeo toward a more acceptable form of entertainment.”  He pointed to the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair, which dropped several events in 2007, including calf-roping and steer-wrestling, yet remained a successful fair.

“People want non-controversial, family-friendly entertainment, not outdated spectacles of animal abuse,” said Fricker.

VHS has launched a web page showing photos of rodeo animals in distress at the 2016 Williams Lake Stampede.