28 Jan 2020

Green Party calls for end of rodeo flank straps

From Morning Report, 7:53 am on 28 January 2020

The Green Party is criticising the government for failing to deliver on a promise to ban some aspects of rodeo.

A video of a rodeo show in Gisborne in 2018 has emerged which shows a bull bucking in an apparent attempt to get out of a flank strap, before snapping one of it's hind legs.

The investigation of that incident is also being criticised, because new documents show the only person interviewed was a sponsor of the event.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor did not address the question of why Labour hasn't followed through on its promise to ban flank straps in his response but said an experienced vet is required to attend all rodeos and he's confident that rodeos are well regulated and generally function well.

Rodeo Cowboys Association president Lyal Cocks said in a statement the video shows a regrettable accident where the bull lands awkwardly on its leg.

He said this was not caused by the flank strap which he says was fitted correctly.

He added: "The flank strap is a piece of harness which is fully padded with sheepskin and does not hurt the animals. It is no different to harness used in other sports to ensure the animals are competitive".