Many people think that if rodeo was inhumane it would be illegal right, wrong!
Animals involved in rodeo entertainment are excluded from the level of protection afforded to companion animals, like dogs, under the B.C. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the federal Criminal Code if the practices are considered commonplace in the farm animal industry. The provincial legislation does not protect animals when distress is caused in the course of “generally accepted practices of animal management”.
While the federal Criminal Code does not explicitly exempt practices from the general prohibition against “wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal”, this provision is not applied where a practice is considered common or widespread in a particular industry. The Criminal Code provisions are rarely applied to farm animals, and only in extreme cases of long-term wilful neglect.
Based on the provisions in provincial and federal law, rodeo animals are left virtually unprotected. The easiest way to address this issue is via a municipal by-law as done in jurisdictions across North America and as near by as Vancouver. VCARE will continue to petition the City of Langford to take this progressive and courageous step.