What is the RSPCA view on rodeos?

RSPCA Australia is strongly opposed to rodeos because of the potential for significant injury, suffering, distress or even death to the animals involved. Where rodeos are permitted to be conducted, RSPCA Australia advocates the adoption of compulsory registration and licensing. Compliance with national standards for the management, housing and transport of rodeo animals must be made a condition of licensing. For more information on rodeos see the RSPCA Australia Knowledgebase.

Do horses and cattle enjoy participating in rodeos?

Rodeo horse and bulls buck repeatedly as an instinctive reaction to the discomfort of being ridden and to the presence of flank straps which have been tightened around their underbelly. Horses and cattle are prey animals and their reaction to being ridden in this way is the same as their reaction to being attacked by a predator, a situation where they are subject to increased stress, anxiety and panic. In many rodeo events, horses and bulls will hurl themselves at solid objects in order to rid themselves of the rider. The experience of young calves during calf roping events is even more stressful, as these animals are very young and have no prior experience of the rodeo environment. For more information please see the RSPCA Australia Knowledgebase.

Find out what laws protect animals in rodeos on RSPCA Australia Knowledgebase.

Take Action

  • Contact your local city or shire council members requesting a ban on Rodeos performing on council-owned property.
  • Don’t attend Rodeos.
  • Encourage friends, family and colleagues to not attend Rodeos.
  • Watch for signs of cruelty and report cruelty to the RSPCA. Phone 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local or metropolitan paper voicing your outrage when a rodeo comes to your town.
  • Write to the sponsors of Rodeos and encourage them to fund other community events that don’t involve potential for significant injury, suffering, distress or even death.