Calgary Stampede vet says pressure from VHS affects “how seriously” it takes animal welfare

Calf-roping at the Calgary Stampede. Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur

First time a Stampede official has acknowledged campaign’s impact

The Calgary Stampede’s chief veterinarian has admitted that pressure from the Vancouver Humane Society affects how seriously the Stampede takes animal welfare.

The admission, buried in a news story in the Calgary Herald, was part of an interview with Greg Evans, a veterinarian employed by the Stampede.

The story states: “Evans said pressure from the Vancouver Humane Society, which openly calls for an end to all animal competition and entertainment at the Stampede, plays a role in how seriously both the Calgary Humane Society and the Stampede take animal welfare.”

This is the first time a Stampede official has acknowledged that Vancouver Humane’s anti-rodeo campaigns have had an impact on the Stampede’s sensitivity to animal welfare concerns.

Under this pressure, the Stampede made a number of rule changes in 2011 and 2016 to the rodeo and chuckwagon races. However, the changes do not affect the fundamental cruelty involved in the rodeo and horses have continued to die in the chuckwagon races. The Stampede needs to eliminate cruel rodeo events such as calf-roping and steer-wrestling and they should suspend the chuckwagon race until independent equine experts can determine whether it can be made safe for horses.

While the Stampede’s rule changes do not go far enough, the admission that it feels under pressure concerning animal welfare shows the importance of public opinion. We hope compassionate Canadians will continue to support our campaign against animal cruelty at the Stampede. We aim to draw attention to this issue at this year’s Stampede (July 5-14).

Let’s continue to hold the Stampede to account. Your support makes a difference and your donations will help us keep up the fight to end rodeo animal suffering.

Thank you!



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