Vancouver Humane Society asks royal couple to skip Calgary Stampede

Society joins British animal welfare advocates in call to shun cruel rodeo

VANCOUVER, June 20, 2011 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is asking the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge not to engage in any activities relating to the Calgary Stampede when they visit Calgary in July.  VHS has joined the U.K.'s League Against Cruel Sports in making the request.

VHS has written to the royal couple advising them that any involvement with the Stampede will be portrayed as an endorsement of rodeo, which VHS says is a spectacle of animal cruelty.  VHS is suggesting that they visit an Alberta horse sanctuary as an alternative.

"We're sure their Royal Highnesses do not want to be associated with an activity that is illegal in Britain and that is opposed by virtually all animal welfare organizations in the Commonwealth and the developed world," said VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker.

Rodeos have been banned in the United Kingdom since 1934, when Parliament passed the Protection of Animals Act (which Prince William's great-great grandfather, George V, signed into law). Britain's RSPCA is officially opposed to rodeos, as are the national SPCAs of the United States, Australia and New Zealand.  The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, which represents most SPCAs in Canada, also opposes rodeo.

The League Against Cruel Sports, one of Britain's oldest and most respected animal welfare charities, is supporting VHS's campaign to have calf-roping banned at the Calgary Stampede.

Last year, more than 90 members of the U.K. Parliament signed a motion condemning cruelty at the Stampede.

VHS's campaign has also received specific statements of support from the national SPCAs of the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society

For further information:

Peter Fricker  604 266 9744   Cell: 604 603 5401
Debra Probert  604 266 9744   Cell: 778 994 9744

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