'Standards' are a cruel loophole
Government Says Rodeos are Well Regulated by 'Standards'
Rodeos are currently permitted through the Minister of Animal Welfare in accordance with the ‘Standards for the Care and Treatment of Rodeo Livestock’ (sometimes referred to as the ‘code of practice’ or 'regulations' or 'standard'). The Minister for Animal Welfare has endorsed this document as the mechanism for controlling animal cruelty in rodeo.
Standards are a Disgrace
Rodeo organisers (eg. the Australian Professional Rodeo Association and affiliated groups) wrote the ‘Standards for the care and treatment rodeo livestock’ which doesn't address the most worst cruelty which is ingrained in rodeo. These ‘standards’ undermine the adequate Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act and allow people with a vested commercial interest to commit obscene acts of cruelty on animals where they would otherwise be prosecuted against under the PCA Act. It allows the rodeo industry to self-regulate and be a law unto themselves.
The ‘standards’ seem to protect
rodeo organisers, stock contractors and competitors from more
serious animal cruelty prosecutions.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act Undermined
It is clear in section 13 of the PCA Act relating to organised events dominating animals for entertainment, that it is a crime, punishable with fines of up to $10,000 or 1 year in prison.
However, due to the National Consultative Committee
for Animal Welfare document, 'Standards for the Care and
Treatment of Rodeo Livestock’, and the associated
permit, the organiser can only be fined a maximum of $1250
for cruelty inflicted on rodeo animals. With the evidence
we provided to the RSPCA, the first rodeo cruelty prosecution
was sought for the Marrabel 2004 rodeo. This case was heard
on April 4th 2006 and the rodeo organiser, Andrew
Allchurch was convicted on 2 counts and received total
fines of only $800.
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