Vancouver first city in Canada to ban rodeo

Humane Society says decision should send message to Surrey�s Cloverdale Rodeo

Vancouver City Council�s decision to ban rodeo events in the city, the first of its kind in Canada, is a victory for the humane treatment of animals, says the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS). The council voted at its May 16 meeting to prohibit a number of inhumane rodeo activities, which, in effect, will prevent rodeos from ever taking place in Vancouver.

"This decision enhances Vancouver�s reputation as a progressive city with heart," said VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker. "It shows that Vancouver will no longer tolerate the abuse of animals for entertainment."

VHS hopes the ban will send a message to other communities that rodeo is no longer acceptable in modern society. "We hope Surrey City Council will follow Vancouver�s lead and phase out the Cloverdale Rodeo," said Fricker. VHS has proposed to Surrey council that the rodeo be replaced with a country music festival � a proposal backed by the BC SPCA.

Rodeo last took place in Vancouver in 1997, but VHS was concerned that the rodeo industry might attempt to use the 2010 Winter Olympics as an opportunity to showcase itself. Rodeo was featured in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City as one of the cultural events, despite protests from the public and animal protection groups.

"Rodeo is based on animals� reactions to pain, fear and stress," said Fricker. "It�s animal abuse, plain and simple. We�re glad it will never happen in Vancouver again."

For more information call Peter Fricker or Debra Probert at 604-266-9744.