Jul 25, 2012

Fact Sheet: Rodeos

Rodeos are a pretty common 'entertainment' option in many areas around Australia.  There are a number of different events that happen at rodeos.  These include calf roping, horse and bull bucking, steer wrestling and more.  This 'entertainment' comes at a price.  In order for this 'entertainment' to occur, horses and cows have to be placed in stressful and uncomfortable situations.  Horses and bulls being ridden in the bucking events will have spurs, electric prods and flank straps used on them in order to make them buck.   Many try to escape the holding stalls by climbing out as they are so distressed.


The flank strap is a piece of rope, often covered in the skin of a sheep, that is tied tightly around the flank of the animal in order to irritate him/her more and get him/her to buck more.  As the animal is already irritated by the presence of the rider, one can imagine that they must be rather uncomfortable, if not distressed.


Spurs "have blunt, free running rowels - the star shaped wheel on a spur" (APRA).  They are used to get the animals to do what the rider wants; buck.  There are rules by the APRA dictating how thick they must be.

Calves will be caught with rope lassos while they are running (bringing them to a sudden halt and risking injuring their necks).  They are then forced to the ground and have 3-4 of their legs tied up.

Steer wrestling requires a person to ride a horse while chasing a steer, then jump off the horse, grabbing the steer's head and forcing it into the ground.  There is absolutely no reason for the animals to have to suffer like this, but because of humans who want to be 'entertained', they continue to go through this.

"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." - Australian Veterinary Association

Please do not support the rodeo.  Let these animals live in peace, instead of being poked, prodded and pushed into the ground for human entertainment.  Animals should not have to suffer so that humans can be entertained.  There are many other forms of entertainment that can be had; seeing a movie, going out for a bike ride, etc.  Animals should not have to bear this pain for our pleasure.

Animals Australia has a great fact sheet put together that covers the issue in even more detail, as well as a petition

If I have missed anything, let me know in the comments or send me an email! :)

Jul 22, 2012

Fundraising Picnic for Healthy Communities and Equal Love

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a nice relaxed picnic at Queens Park in Brisbane.  The Picnic was organised to help raise funds for Equal Love and Healthy Communities.  We got there a couple of hours after it started but there was still some chilled music, a good atmosphere and some delicious vegan food (by Black Valentine) to be had.

Photo by Jay Haurat, picnic organiser

Equal Love is an Australian wide group that works towards marriage equality in Australia.  They are behind many rallies and put in a lot of time and effort in getting this issue in the public eye.  While the civil unions in QLD were seen as a great step forward for equal rights, unfortunately they have been watered down under the new LNP government.  If you are a QLD resident you can sign this petition to bring back civil unions.

The LNP has not stopped there, also cutting much needed funding to the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC).  QAHC "promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Queenslanders" and provides a range of services to do so.  The LNP decided to cut funding to the HIV prevention as part of its current scheme to save money.  If you want to learn more about the issue, click here.

There were a few stalls there including ones by Equal Love, Healthy Communities, Queensland Pride, Woof Wear and Rainbow Families.  We pretty much sat near the one set up by Black Valentine and ate our way through vegan chicken, fish, sausages, chocolate and mushroom kebabs.  It was a rad day and I hope that we were able to help support the community :).
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