Rodeo revives cruelty debate

A MOUNT Isa vet has slammed claims by an animal protection organisation that a horse was injured and in distress during the Isa Rodeo.

According to its Facebook page, Animals Australia hoped the image of a bucking bronc running into the arena wall at the Isa Rodeo could help turn the tide in a campaign against using animals for entertainment.

Mount Isa vet Ed Butterworth was on duty during rodeo and said his role was to ensure stock were fit for competition.

"We were available for any necessary treatment but that horse sustained no injuries and did not require treatment," he said.

"The panelling gave way on the arena and absorbed most of the impact, as it was designed to do."

He said contract stock was bred and trained for rodeo and the animals knew their job.

"The horses are the income of the contractors and they take care of them. They do not want to see any harm come to their stock and livelihood."

The animal protection group received varied responses after publishing the photo on its Facebook page.

One commenter, Jocelyn Caragay said she could never understand why some people found the suffering of an animal so entertaining.

"Perhaps bucking straps need to be worn by the rider as well, fair is fair! So cruel," commented Tracey Neilson.

Roberta Bagshaw described the photo as "Cruel, disgraceful, inhumane, revolting."

Mayor Tony McGrady said rodeos were a part and parcel of our entertainment in the North West.

"We have a world famous rodeo and as a community should be proud of what the Rotarians and community have done to bring this event to Mount Isa," Cr McGrady said.

"These people should come here and see the employment and enjoyment the rodeo generates.

"People leave here as ambassadors of the community because they see what we are all about."

"If we take Animals Australia's argument to its logical conclusion, every time there is a car accident, should we stop traffic on the roads. Of course you wouldn't!"

Animals Australia has started a campaign to end rodeos in Australia and is calling on supporters to sign an online petition.

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