The International Rodeo could be barred from returning to
Forsyth Barr Stadium if the Dunedin City Council agrees to a
plea from animal rights group Safe.
The group's Dunedin co-ordinator, Carl Scott, yesterday
petitioned the council to follow the Auckland council's lead
and ban rodeos from all council-owned land and facilities.
Mr Scott told councillors at yesterday's public forum rodeos
were cruel and brutal ''displays of dominance'' that left
animals terrified and, in some cases, injured or needing to
The ''barbaric spectacle'' was all in the name of
entertainment, but was ''not fair'' for the animals involved,
''There's nowhere to run to. Just pain, fear and confusion.
How could you not be terrified?''Rodeos had been banned in
other places, including parts of the United States and on
publicly owned land in Auckland. Circuses featuring exotic
animals had been banned from council land in Dunedin, he told
That ban should be extended to include rodeos, and was a
movethat would win public support, he argued.
''I think there will be very few people who will disapprove
of a ban,'' he said.
Mr Scott's plea came after he led a campaign by Safe (Save
Animals From Exploitation), calling for members of the public
to boycott the International Rodeo which was held at the
stadium on November 17 last year.
However, the rodeo's production manager, Fred Doherty, said
at that time no participants or animals had been involved in
accidents during the five years the rodeo had been running.
New Zealand rodeos followed the National Animal Advisory
Committee guidelines, and all animals werechecked by
veterinarians before and after rodeos, he said.
A opinion piece by Mr Scott arguing against the rodeo,
publishedin the Otago Daily Times days before the event, also
drew a rebuttalfrom United States rodeo announcer Kedo Olson,
who argued the animals involved were athletes and well cared
The event drew a crowd of 7500 people - about half that hoped
for - but organisers had indicated the rodeo was profitable
and could return to Dunedin.
No animals or riders were injured during the event, Mr
However, Mr Scott told councillors yesterday that, without a
ban,the organisers would face ''continued and increased
opposition from us''.
Cr Fliss Butcher praised Mr Scott's plea, and said she was
''100% with you'', but Cr Kate Wilson questioned why rodeos -
and not equestrian or greyhound racing - were being targeted.
Mr Scott said that reflected limited resources, but other
groups were focused on other areas of animal welfare concern.
''This is just something that's happening in our town at this
time,'' he said.
Cr Teresa Stevenson said she wanted a report from council
staff on the pros and cons of any ban, which could be
Mayor Dave Cull said there appeared to be ''a number of
councillors around the table'' who would support a ban, but
suggested any councillor who was interested in such a move
should bring the matter to a council committee for further