Animal Activists Protest China’s First Rodeo, A Sino-U.S. Event


A coalition of 68 Chinese animal rights groups has called for the cancellation of Rodeo China, a Sino-U.S. cultural exchange event scheduled for October at Beijing’s National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest.

Rodeo China was approved by the Chinese government in April as part of a series of Sino-American cultural exchange events. It will be the most expensive competition of its kind, with an unprecedented prize of $8 million.

It will also be the biggest event of its kind, with around 120 cowboys, 180 horses, 36 bulls and 90 steers, primarily from the U.S. and Australia, competing in the Bird’s Nest stadium. Producers have billed the event as “the Super Bowl of rodeo.”

Chinese Animal Rights Activists Are Angry

In a letter last month to the Chinese People’s Assn. for Friendship With Foreign Countries, a government group teamed with the event’s U.S. organizers, rights groups condemned rodeo as a cruel sport that even Americans deem abusive and unpopular. They labeled it another example of “trashy” U.S. culture.

From The Daily Telegraph:

China has no laws to prevent animal abuse and there are widespread examples of zoos feeding live chickens and sheep to tigers, or of bears being caged in order to extract bile from their gall-bladders.

“We do not want this trashy culture to come to China,” the protesters told the Beijing News newspaper, after a group of 68 Chinese animal charities joined together to campaign against the event.

However, Liu Huili, a spokesman for the animal charities, insisted it was vital to stop the rodeo. “There are many cases of animal abuse in China, but that does not mean we have to import more abuse from other countries,” he said.

“Turning the Bird’s Nest stadium into an animal pit is totally disrespectful and if this show is allowed to go ahead, it will send out a signal that this sort of culture is acceptable and it will then mushroom across China.

“The Chinese organisers also know very little about animal welfare and may fail to provide proper care for the horses and bulls, all of which are being imported from the US and Australia,” he added.

No Animals Will Be Harmed?

Although the organizers have promised that no animals will be harmed, the facts indicate otherwise. As I wrote here last month, the League Against Cruel Sports describes what happens in a rodeo:

Animals are subjected to immense stress and cruelty in events such as calf roping, where the calf is goaded, prodded, and often has its tail twisted to ensure that it bursts out of its chute at full speed. The terrified calf is then chased by a mounted rider who must lasso the calf, jump off his horse, pick up the calf, slam it to the ground and tie all three of its feet together.

The League also points out that not only are these races extremely dangerous for all the animals involved, but very few years have passed in which fatalities have not occurred. In 2010, for example, six horses died during the rodeo at the Calgary Stampede in Canada.

Take Action!

Please sign our petition asking the Chinese People’s Assn. for Friendship With Foreign Countries to cancel Rodeo China.

Related Stories:

How Many Rodeo Deaths Are Too Many?

The Abusive World Of Rodeos

Rodeos Are Dangerous For Animals And Humans


Photo Credit: via Creative Commons

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Ph M.
Bu M.2 years ago

Rodeos are NO fun for the animals FORCED to perform.

AnnMarie S.
AnnMarie S.4 years ago

I might say I'm pleasantly surprised to hear there are animal activist in china considering all the abuse they have there. rodeos might seem to be harmless but they are not there just animal exploitation

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B.4 years ago

Voted No, petition already signed.

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S.4 years ago

Exactly right Rosemary. I am glad there are some animal rights groups in China, since they have a long history of animal mistreatment.

Carrie Anne Brown

signed, thanks for sharing :)

Holly c.4 years ago

god, this makes me sick

Rosemary Graf
Rosemary Graf4 years ago

I have seen how circus animals are treated in China. and I have seen how animals are kept in zoo. No to rodeos in China. It's just another way to make animals suffer, NO NO!

Cornelius McHugh
Cornelius McHugh4 years ago

Both signed.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.4 years ago

There is a Care2 petition. Please, sign it too.

Justin M.
Justin M.4 years ago

Can't say I'm surprised, this IS China we're talking about, AKA a place that has been notorious for their animal cruelty. Now do not get me wrong, it's a GOOD thing that their people are finally taking notice of this, and with pet ownership on the rise they are taking action against this nonsense. I say good on those animal cruelty activists for protesting, they are heroes in my books.

Note I hold nothing against the Chinese whom are protesting this, willing to bet that my stepmom would be amongst them as she is Chinese and we have two cats of our own that she loves. Heck, she was responsible for bringing the second kitty home.

So yeah, it's time they got proactive, I say we stand by these Chinese animal rights activists and support them, it's certainly a step in the right direction.