We will continue to fight rodeos - SPCA

2015-05-07 15:34
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Bloemfontein - The National Council of the SPCA will continue to approach the courts until proper regulations are put into place or until all rodeo events are cancelled, the SPCA’s Navesh Singh told News24.

This warning preceded a rodeo training course planned for Saturday in the small Northern Cape town of Hartswater.

Rodeos made headlines after an event in Wolmaransstad was cancelled two weeks ago when the SPCA intervened and irate rodeo fans slashed the tyres of NSPCA and the Klerksdorp SPCA’s vehicles.

The organisers of the Hartswater event declined to speak to News24, but Hekkie Beukes, a rodeo enthusiast from Pretoria, told News24 the NSPCA was stopping rodeo riders from practising their sport in the way they had been taught.

“I don’t understand their reasoning. We are not a bunch of palookas that are trying to do things that we know nothing about.”

He said he believed his definition of animal cruelty differed from that of the NSPCA, but he was sure he treated his animals in a much more humane way than many other people.

“If they appoint an independent person to evaluate sports which involved animals, I am sure he’ll find that there are at least six other sports which are more dangerous to animals than rodeo. I am talking about equestrian events such as endurance races, cross country and horse racing,” Beukes said.

He is of the opinion that the NSPCA targeted rodeo because they knew it was a small sport that did not have the resources to fight lengthy legal battles.

But Singh disagreed. “We are not only now focusing on rodeo. We have had other events cancelled in the past due to the cruelty involved,” he said. “And it is not only rodeo, we look at all sports involving animals.”

Rodeo, he said, involved beasts which are not natural riding animals.

“The riders make these animals act in a way they want them by infuriating them. One of the techniques is the use of a bucking strap, and this is nothing other than cruelty to animals.”

Read more on:    nspca  |  bloemfontein  |  animal abuse

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