PRESS RELEASE: Laws violated as bull breaks leg at Warwick Rodeo



Animals Australia will lodge a formal complaint for breaches of Queensland animal protection laws after the disgraceful treatment of a bull when he broke his leg at the Warwick Rodeo on Saturday.

Video footage shows 'Buckle Up' falling and ditching his rider as soon as he comes out of the chute. When he gets up it is clear that his back leg or hip is broken, he falls repeatedly, dragging the leg and collapsing on it a number of times.

Animals Australia Executive Director Glenys Oogjes said attempts to restrain the bull over the next 30 minutes were dismal, not only prolonging the animal's pain and suffering but constituting multiple breaches of Queensland animal cruelty laws.

"As soon as the bull was injured, he should have been immediately restrained and euthanased. Instead he was taunted in clumsy attempts to shepherd him out of the arena despite the terrible injury causing him to collapse repeatedly," said Ms Oogjes.

"At one stage a ute was driven into the arena and the clearly agitated bull charged at the ute a number of times, with such force its wheels were lifted off the ground. Eventually other bulls were brought into the arena to herd the injured bull out, only adding to his distress as one of them jumped on top of his injured leg.

"Despite clearly being unfit for transport, the injured animal was then forced up a ramp onto a truck - some 30 minutes after his ordeal began. Transporting unfit animals is an offence under Queensland law."

Animals Australia said the failure of rodeo organisers to render immediate, effective assistance to prevent further suffering of the injured bull breaches multiple clauses of the Queensland Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.

"This is the second such incident to have occurred at Queensland rodeos in as many months, with a steer breaking his leg at the Mt Carbine rodeo and being dragged from the arena rather than being euthanased immediately.

"Queensland’s rodeo laws are the weakest in Australia, despite it having the most rodeo events. Queensland still allows calf roping - an event that has been banned on cruelty grounds in two states - and there is no requirement for a vet to attend every rodeo event, nor is there mandatory reporting of injuries.

"Community attitudes about the treatment of animals are changing. Few would argue that the injury, fear, distress and extended aggravated suffering caused to 'Buckle Up' is a justifiable form of entertainment.

"In their defence the rodeo industry is likely to argue that injury rates are low but given it is not mandatory to record injuries in Queensland, this will be a moot point.

"Regardless, the risk of injuries is only one aspect. No-one can suggest that animals involved in rodeo events are not inherently distressed which is cruel in itself. This is 2012 - surely as a society we can now agree that it is unacceptable to subject animals to cruelty and distress for our own amusement," said Ms Oogjes.


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