Rodeos

Position statement

The Code of Practice for the Welfare of Rodeo and Rodeo School Livestock in Victoria (now Part 3, Victorian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008) should be adopted at a national level.

Background

Rodeos should be permitted only where there is appropriate legislative control to ensure the welfare of the animals involved. Such control must include a permit to operate a rodeo event underpinned by an enforceable code of practice that includes a requirement for a suitably experienced veterinarian to be involved in planning the event and to be present for the entire duration of the rodeo.

The rodeo organising committee must commit to accepting the opinion of the attending veterinarian, and accept responsibility for the welfare of all animals during the event. The event planning must cover management of animals before, during and after the event including procedures for the treatment or destruction and removal of injured animals.

Event organisers must provide adequate remuneration for the professional attendance by suitably experienced veterinarians. The veterinarian must inspect the facilities prior to the event and be in attendance for the duration of the rodeo.

All rodeo associations should endorse the national code of practice, ensure that all required welfare issues are properly addressed, and ensure that breaches of the permit and/or the code are appropriately investigated.

There is considerable inherent welfare risk to animals participating in rodeos. These risks are exacerbated by poor or non-existent levels of regulation and enforcement at a state level, and the involvement of multiple rodeo organisations with varying welfare standards. Many rodeos take place in remote areas where there is little monitoring or enforcement of animal welfare codes of practice. Consequently the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is concerned the welfare of the animals used is compromised by rodeos which can be conducted in a manner that is cruel and unnecessarily dangerous.

Proper consideration must be given to the health and welfare of animals used in rodeos. Events and procedures in rodeos should be specifically designed to prevent cruelty and minimise the impacts on the welfare of the animals used. People responsible in the organisation for running of rodeos must have appropriate training so that they understand their responsibility to ensure that animal welfare needs are met. It is also important that there is proper supervision of rodeos to enforce the appropriate code of practice.

References

Agriculture Victoria. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008, Part 3:  http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/Domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubLawToday.nsf/...

Date of ratification by the AVA Board: 20 January 2012

 

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