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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Protest against ‘cruel’ Maitland Rodeo planned

The popular Maitland Rodeo will be in the firing line on Friday evening as Hunter animal-lovers coordinate a protest objecting to the “cruel” event.

Activists are preparing to congregate at the venue in Blomfield Street from 5pm on 12 March to express their displeasure at such attractions.

The protest was originally scheduled for last month, however bad weather hindered everyone’s plans.

Now, despite the postponement of the 2021 Maitland Show until later in the year, the rodeo is slated to go ahead this week.

Animal Justice Party (AJP) Newcastle regional group leader Darren Brollo said the event was “barbaric” and will be headlining the demonstration along with Sydney Animal Save and Newcastle Animal Save.

“Our message is simple: animal cruelty is not entertainment,” he explained.

“Rodeo animals including bulls and horses are physically forced into displaying ‘wild’ behaviour, comprising of bucking and twisting by the use of cruel devices such as spurs, electric prods and flank straps.

“Terrified and in pain, they face further panic when they are forced into a brightly-lit ring with punters screaming at them from the sidelines.

“Tortured and desperately trying to escape, some animals meet fatal injuries including broken backs, necks, heart attacks and aneurysms.

“If they survive, they are often forced to participate in rodeo cruelty again and again until they become too exhausted to continue and are sent to a slaughterhouse.”

Mr Brollo said the organisations were calling on the NSW Government to “listen to the community”.

“Forcing animals to suffer for so-called ‘entertainment’ is abhorrent,” he added.

“It’s no wonder that rodeos have been banned in the ACT, UK, Canada and the Netherlands.

“Just a few months ago a damning exposé was released in New Zealand showing the shocking violence involved in rodeos sparked international outcry.

“This same violence is happening here – and it cannot be allowed to continue.

“We’d like the government to ban rodeos and withdraw their support for these cruel and inhumane events.”

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