Cruelty and lawlessness leads to arrest at rodeo

Two men and a woman were arrested on Saturday 22 August 2015 in Viljoenskroon after they had defied a Court Order obtained by the NSPCA from a Senior Magistrate in Kroonstad.

The Court Order stated that bulls may not be used in the planned rodeo event. The use of  bucking straps, flank straps and spurs was also specifically prohibited. When placed around the animal’s testicles, the equipment causes them to buck and perform. This “spectacle” is the result of discomfort, pain and unnecessary suffering.

The Warrant had been produced by the NSPCA in the presence of serving SAPS officers on the morning of the planned event when organisers insisted that they would act in defiance of it.

As the rodeo proceeded, the NSPCA alerted the SAPS who intervened by halting proceedings and arresting the organisers.

The same organisers have previously been charged in terms of the Animals Protection Act and this criminal case is pending. A docket has been registered at the SAPS in Viljoenskroon. A Court date is awaited. The case relates to a rodeo in 2014 at the same venue when a bull broke its leg in the ring and the NSPCA had to intervene to humanely put the bull out of its misery and suffering. This is now a second offence and another docket has been registered: – charges also under the Animals Protection Act.

Our Veterinarian who was present witnessed the suffering of the animals. He advised that bucking straps were tightly fixed against the scrotums of the animals for a significant period of time, including whilst the animals were in the lairages. Cattle showed a severe aversion to the event. Tail twisting, prodding with poles and goading took place to force the terrified cattle to re-enter the ring. Blaring music and screaming crowds added to the stress factors for the animals. Severe signs of distress were manifested by the animals. Cattle are not animals used to being ridden.

Rodeo is cruel. It involves the exploitation of an animal being goaded and provoked by participants and through the use of painful equipment strapped onto it. The events are not amusing nor entertaining. Placing an animal at risk of serious injury or death is unacceptable and inhumane.

The NSPCA has fought relentlessly against all forms of animal cruelty and exploitation. Rodeo is a prime example. Far from those involved being “easy targets”, they are classic examples of how the Law is being challenged and disrespected. Defying a Court order is a serious offence.

Matters will now take their course in the legal system and updates will be provided.

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