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Roped calf in mid-air Roped calf (images courtesy Brightside Farm Sanctuary)

In 2006 AACT started filming Tasmanian rodeos. This was the first time rodeos had been monitored by animal rights activists here in Tasmania. In the space of 3-4 weeks we filmed 3 animals injured so badly they had to be destroyed. A total of eight animals died as a direct result of rodeos during this time.

The tragic sight of a bull named After Dark dragging himself off the arena at the Carrick Bull Ride was shown nation wide on television. After Dark was filmed being kicked in the head and was forced to climb a ramp into a truck with a broken back. There was no veterinarian on site and it was over an hour before one arrived. The vet briefly inspected the bull but did not put him down. He was driven away in the truck and apparently destroyed later.

Two weeks later while filming at the Ulverstone Rodeo, we were shocked to witness and film two more tragic events. Within 20 minutes of the rodeo starting a cow was badly injured in the hind quarters during the junior events. She staggered from the chute, fell to the ground and then managed to stand. Dragging her hind leg, she left the arena and was loaded onto a truck and taken away.

Later in the evening, a five year old gelding came out of the chute, and on his third buck, he also crashed to the ground with a broken front leg. Screens were placed around him and he was eventually (after at least 30 minutes) dragged into a horse float and was taken away. The Ulverstone Rodeo Committee's answer to a dying horse on the arena was to bring on the clowns. While the horse was dying behind the screens the clowns removed one another’s clothes and wrestled in the mud. The gelding died to the sound of cheering and hysterical laughter from the crowd.

All three of these terrible events were filmed and shown on TV news. There was also nationwide radio coverage.

Following an investigation into the handling of After Dark four people were charged with breaches of the Animal Welfare Act. In a disappointing decision in May 2007 charges against three of the defendants were dismissed with only one, Michael Wylie, being prosecuted with committing a cruelty offence. The penalty imposed for this act of cruelty was a 12 months suspended sentence. We believe this penalty was wholly inadequate and call for harsher penalties to be handed down for animal cruelty offences.

Fallen bull (image courtesy Brightside Farm Sanctuary)

Following this horrific season AACT members have continued to attend rodeo events around Tasmania to document the cruelty of this so called entertainment.

There has been an overwhelming outpouring of concern from the public. People want to see rodeos banned in Tasmania and we would be following the lead of the ACT.

There is currently no enforceable code of practice here in Tasmania, something that the government now wants to change. South Australia has an enforceable code of practice for rodeos which has caused the industry to stop the filming of rodeos by activists. Those caught filming are now forcibly removed. Even bag searches are occurring at the gates for cameras. Our concern is that this will happen in Tasmania. We have been stopped from filming so far at a rodeo in Ulverstone and organisers at this year's Woodstock Rodeo also attempted to stop the filming of their event.

Tasmania needs to ban rodeos in order to stop the cruelty of these events. Rodeos are legalised animal abuse. Animals are goaded into a frenzy with the use of spurs, electric prods and flank straps.

Please join us in demanding a ban on this cruel and outdated so called form of entertainment.

Steer wrestling (images courtesy Brightside Farm Sanctuary)

Watch some of the 2012 Harveydale Rodeo on YouTube.

The 2012 Havrveydale Rodeo injury report.

The report from Colin Jessup of DPIPWE in respect of the incidents at Harveydale Rodeo in 2012.


Write to:

Bryan Green
Minister for Primary Industries and Water
Parliament House

  • Your local State Government member
  • Sponsors of rodeo events

Download, complete and return our petition to end animal use in rodeos

Only public opinion and response can permanently alter conditions for our fellow animals. YOUR support, YOUR letters, YOUR refusal to support cruelty will in turn create a better world for the animals.


Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania

Email: info@aact.org.au Tel: 0408 970 359

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© Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania (AACT), 2005-2013