All news articles

All our news articles

Delivering news

What's being said

Delivery of policy

Let's outlaw the worst rodeo practises

We must stop cruelty in the name of ‘entertainment.’ 

The Green Party's rodeo animals protection bill would amend the Animal Welfare Act to outlaw the rodeo activities that cause the most pain and distress to animals - specifically calf roping, steer wrestling and the use of flank straps.

New Zealand law acknowledges animals as sentient and it’s unacceptable in 2019 to have animals hurt, scarred and killed for fun. How we treat our animals is a reflection on our values as a society.

The Greens will always stand up for the most vulnerable members of our society, including animals.

Read the current proposed member's bill in the name of Gareth Hughes MP: Animal Welfare (Prohibition of Rodeo Activities) Amendment Bill (PDF)

What does the bill do?

This member’s bill would amend the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to prohibit certain rodeo-related activities from occurring in New Zealand – specifically calf roping, steer wrestling and the use of flank straps. The aim is to outlaw the rodeo activities that cause the most pain and distress to animals. These activities the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) identified as causing pain, distress, the risk of serious injury and ranked as having negative impacts.

Why do we need this?

Rodeo events exploit animals and cause pain and distress for human entertainment. Several animals have already died in rodeo-related incidents over the 2018/19 season alone. A 2018 legal opinion by the New Zealand Animal Law Association asserts rodeo would be considered unlawful under our Animal Welfare Act 1999. This bill reflects changing attitudes to animals and what constitutes appropriate use of animals in entertainment.

Over recent years rodeos have closed down from declining patronage and public scrutiny has increased from slow-motion video footage becoming readily available showing the impact rodeo has on animals.

Why doesn’t the bill just ban rodeos?

Green Party policy is to ban the use of animals in rodeos completely, but it’s unlikely that a bill to do that would pass through Parliament with the support of all parties at present.

We think that parties across the political spectrum will support a bill that looks to outlaw rodeo events with the most serious animal welfare impacts.