Quebec’s Rodeos Violate Animal Welfare Law, Shows Recent Report

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A report following the study of over 20 video footage in Quebec rodeos that took place in Saint-Tite and Montreal last summer shows that the events violated animal welfare laws and were technically illegal.

The report was made public Wednesday after the law professor Alain Roy of the Université de Montréal has received the observations and analyses realized by Dr. Jean-Jacques Kona-Boun, who is DMV, MSc, DACVAA, veterinarian and anesthesiologist, and other veterinarians and experts in animal behavior.

Last year, Roy has requested for injunction to prevent the rodeo in Montreal when the city was celebrating its 375th anniversary. According to Roy, his students and Dr. Jean-Jacques Kona-Boun, the rodeo violates animal protection laws and has harmful effects on the animals.

“The animals display behavioral signs of significant distress. Rodeos are part of my cultural history. Cultural change is difficult; but to deny what I see in the video and stills would be the same as denying all that has been learned about animal behavior in recent decades,” said one of the experts, Dr. Bruce Fogle, MBE DVM(Guelph) MRCVS, Chair, Humane Society International.

Rodeos Entertain People by Subjecting Animals to Stress, Fear, and Injuries

Even the Montreal SPCA took action last year to oppose the event by gathering over 29,900 signatures. However, the rodeos took place, after Roy came to an agreement with the opposing party. He was allowed to observe the rodeos with some experts and see the animals’ condition before and after the event.

The report contains 600 pages and concludes that horses and bulls are getting rigorous training and they risk serious injuries. These animals are going through a psychological distress. The calves are lassoed and steered too.

“The rodeo activities held in accordance with the standards in effect in Montréal and St-Tite subject horses and bulls to the risk of injury such as fractures and other serious injuries. The same is true of the calf-roping and steer-wrestling,” stated Dr. Jean-Jacques Kona-Boun.

Roy and his colleagues believe that their observations and analysis show that the Animal Welfare and Safety Act is violated and the Advisory Committee should enforce changes.

“If it fails to act, the government will have to assume the consequences of its decisions. Animal advocates are now sufficiently well-organized to defend their cause by using all the expertise and judicial resources at their disposal,” concluded professor Alain Roy.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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