UK parliamentarians condemn Calgary Stampede

Motion commends British animal charity targeting Stampede tourism

VANCOUVER, July 8 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) has received some distinguished, if distant, support for its campaign against calf-roping at the Calgary Stampede.

A group of British members of parliament has signed a motion tabled in the U.K. House of Commons condemning rodeos and calling "on the Canadian government to take steps to end the immense cruelty to animals in events such as calf-roping, which is practised at rodeos including the Calgary Stampede." So far more than 50 MPs have signed the motion.

The League Against Cruel Sports, one of Britain's oldest and most respected animal welfare charities, has also today announced it is supporting VHS's anti-rodeo campaign. The parliamentary motion commends the League for "bringing the enormous cruelty of rodeo to the attention of the British public." The League was instrumental in having fox-hunting outlawed in the U.K.

The League is urging its supporters to write to the Canadian High Commission to express their opposition to rodeo and is asking U.K. travel companies to stop promoting package tours to the Calgary Stampede. "Canada is a beautiful country with so much to do, there really is no need to be abusing animals in this way for entertainment. We know from our opinion polls that British tourists vote with their feet on other animal welfare issues such as bullfighting, and we will be persuading them to do the same with the rodeo," said Steve Taylor, the League's Head of Campaigns and Communications., the world's leading travel agent for responsible holidays, has already agreed to warn tourists about the inhumane treatment of animals at the Stampede with information on its website:

VHS says the British support is a first step toward internationalizing opposition to rodeos in Canada. "Visitors to Canada just don't know about the cruelty involved in rodeo until they've attended one," said VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker. "We aim to make sure they know beforehand."

Rodeo has been banned in Britain since 1934. The U.K. Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals is opposed to rodeo, as are the national SPCAs of the United States, Australia and New Zealand. In Canada, virtually all animal welfare agencies oppose rodeo, including the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and the Humane Society of Canada.

SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society

For further information: For further information: Peter Fricker, 604 266 9744, Cell: 604 603 5401

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