RSPCA calls for major rodeo to be CANCELLED because animals ‘will suffer heat stress’ – but organisers refuse to budge
- Welfare group worried animals will suffer heat stress at South Australian rodeo
- Temperatures forecast to 40C before falling to 36C for rodeo’s 6.30pm start
- Rodeo club president calls RSPCA an ‘activist group’ that ‘nobody cares about’
The RSPCA wants one of the biggest night rodeos in South Australia to be postponed due to heat but organisers say it’s going ahead.
The leading animal welfare organisation is shocked Carrieton Rodeo won’t reschedule its Saturday night event as the day’s top temperature soars to 40C before dipping to 36C for a 6.30pm start.
‘In the forecast conditions, it’s likely some animals will suffer heat stress but it will be difficult to verify how many have suffered or to what extent,’ RSPCA’s Rebekah Eyers said.
Stock at Carrieton. Volunteers have been setting everything up for tonight’s 6.30pm start. Evening temperatures of 36C are forecast for the event opening
‘To demonstrate that animal welfare is a priority, we had hoped Australian Professional Rodeo Association and event organisers would follow the lead of other organisations using animals for entertainment, and cancel or reschedule the event.’
Club president Daniel Williams said the 67th annual rodeo was ‘absolutely going ahead’ with up to 3000 people to attend and pump money into the drought-stricken town.
Carrieton Rodeo in 2017. Organisers say the RSPCA has a stated objective to ‘shut down rodeos’ and they won’t cancel their event due to heat stress concerns this year
Crowds gather at a previous Carrieton Rodeo held in a small outback South Australian town
‘It is an absolutely beautiful day. We have a water sprayer on hand if necessary and have the option of delaying if the heat is extreme,’ Mr Williams told AAP.
‘They [the horses] are kept in excellent conditions, treated like royalty, get to run around.
‘The RSPCA is an activist group that no one actually cares about these days … their stated objective is to shut down rodeos.’
The temperature in the far north South Australian town is due to hit 36C when the rodeo kicks-off, before quickly cooling down, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
’36C is quite reasonable for that time of day, but it will cool down pretty quickly so by midnight a temperature of 24C is expected,’ a spokeswoman said.
‘Once the sun goes down it’ll be okay and they will get help from the sea breeze.’
There is no legally enforceable top temperature to prevent the animals from performing in rodeos across the state, and rodeos are legal events.
Even if the temperature drops, the RSPCA still has concerns about the transport and handling of animals to and from the event, risk of heat stress and other physical stress.