Activists want rodeos banned because they see them as being cruel to animals

rodeo action: Protestors say rodeos are inherently cruel. They want them banned.
rodeo action: Protestors say rodeos are inherently cruel. They want them banned.

ANIMAL rights groups will protest against the Bike and Bulls rodeo to be held this Friday at the Cleveland Showgrounds.

Action Against Rodeo Brisbane spokeswoman Linda McCarthy said her group would mount a protest at 2.30pm at the corner of Bloomfield and Long St and later outside the event.

Ms McCarthy said her group _ which included RSPCA, Animal Liberation and Coast to Coast Animal Friends - were opposed to rodeos on cruelty grounds.

She said they had conducted protests at other rodeos and received wide support.

"I think a lot of people aren't aware that electric prods, flank straps and spurs are used,'' she said. "Young calves are roped, thrown to the ground, tied up and dragged.

"If these things were done to a dog, there would be a public uproar.''

Ms McCarthy said she had attended one rodeo at Springwood and thought it was the saddest thing she had ever seen.

"Poor animals were crowded into pens ankle deep in mud,'' she said. "A black  one collapsed on the ground. I've never seen anything like it.''

Bike and Bulls organiser Brodie Carmichael did not return phone calls on the issue.

In 2012 Warwick Show and Rodeo Society president Neville Fanning defended the event after a bull broke a leg, saying the rodeo had been running since 1939 and he knew of no other such situation occurring.

The featured 3500 cattle, 100 bulls and 100 bucking horses and no others were injured although three riders were taken to hospital.

"Riders were getting pelted everywhere. If a rider breaks a leg it's an accident and if an animal gets hurt it's cruelty,’’ he said.

Mr Fanning said that unlike bull fighting, where animals were routinely speared and bled, rodeos featured well-fed, unrestrained bulls.

National Rodeo Association saddle ride director Dave Mawhinney said about 200 rodeos were held in Queensland annually and he rarely saw injuries in stock.

Ms McCarthy said her group wanted rodeos banned, at least in metropolitan areas for a start.

Rodeos had already been banned in the ACT and parts of the US and England.

She said bringing children to such a show desensitised them to animal cruelty.