Boycott New Year's Day rodeo, urge protesters

3:51 pm on 30 December 2016

An animal welfare group planning a protest outside a rodeo north of Auckland says the sport is brutal and exploitative.

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Direct Animal Action says roedos put animals at risk of injury and even death. Photo: 123 RF

Around 50 members of the Direct Animal Action group will protest in front of a rodeo scheduled for New Year's Day in Warkworth.

Spokesperson Amie Wolken said the group was asking the public to boycott the event, which is run by the New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association.

"Rodeos induce stress in animals by their very nature," she said.

"They also put animals at risk of injury and sometimes even death every time they get in the ring.

"So this is something that we obviously want to discourage as a practice and as a lesson for our kids as to how to treat animals."

The group will use a red heart symbol to encourage kinds and teach children healthy messages around animal safety, she said.

But the Rodeo Cowboys Association said it was not the least bit concerned about the protesters' plans.

Spokesperson Gary Jackson said the same people protested each year at Warkworth, yet the rodeo fans kept coming back.

He said he respected the group's right to protest, but did not think it would make much difference.

"It's just a total philosophical and ideological. I respect their right to do that, I just wish they'd tell the truth, but if they told the truth, they wouldn't be there, I guess."

Mr Jackson said he was expecting 2500-4000 spectators at the New Year's Day rodeo.

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