Hope you've all had a rip snorter of a week!
This week I wanted to touch on a serious issue. One that is very close to my heart.
I love attending rodeos, the thrill of the bull riding and the courage of the riders are major draw cards for me, along with thousands of other Australians.
But, the future of the high adrenaline sport is under threat because of the concerns of animal activists. They think that bull riding is cruel and inhumane. I think they are very misinformed and if they looked closely at how the bulls are cared for they may change their minds.
Don’t get me wrong. I love all creatures great and small and I am the first to jump up and down when I think there is cruelty to animals. But, I believe the animal activists concerns are very far fetched and I will explain why.
The NCCAW is a national body whose role it is to assess animal welfare and report back to the government for the making of laws to protect them.
After a massive investigation last year they have chosen to support rodeos as they seen for themselves that the bulls’ health safety is the number one priority.
One top controversy is the flank strap. (Which is the strap, covered in sheepskin I may add!!, that is placed around the bulls flank, in front of its hind legs).
It does not go over the bulls genitals, like animal activists seem to believe.
And a good point to remember.....The bulls’ genitals are very important for future breeding so risking damage with a flank strap is a big NO NO!
For the stock contractors, the bulls are a major investment and highly valued. It’s their livelihood so I ask you, why wouldn’t they care for their bulls in the same manner as a farmer cares for their crops?
They treat the bulls with the upmost respect, I know this from experience, as I have helped to feed and train bucking bulls.
The contractors know that only when a bull is in top condition will it buck like a champion. If a bull doesn’t want to buck, it wont, it will just lay down behind the chutes and refuse to move. And you try moving a one tonne beast.
In fact, due to the light workload of a bucking bull, life expectancy for rodeo stock is longer than that of feral bulls.
Believe me, if they weren’t bucking out at rodeos most of these bulls would be at the meatworks, being killed for our dinner plates.
A recent survey has found that there is only 1 injury for every 2800 times a bull is used in the arena. There is always a vet on site, at every rodeo, to care for the bulls and to make sure they are in top condition to buck.
For the riders, there are also some very tough rules. Spurs must be blunt and only be 3mm thick. Considering that the bulls hide is 7mm thick, it means there is no harm done to the bull. To get that into perspective for you, human skin is only 1-2 mm thick.
The bull riders will not hurt a bull. If they do, they’re immediately disqualified, which means loss of any chance of obtaining prize money, which is their number 1 goal! And also, they admire and the respect the bulls that are there for them to ride. For without the bulls, there wouldn’t be a sport.
And without the sport, it would leave all of us rodeo fans sitting on the sidelines of an empty, dusty arena and most of the bucking bulls without a reason to be fed and cared for. Which I think, would be a very tragic outcome.
So please, support rodeos so the bulls can live a long and happy life. I know I will be!!
Thought for this week
"Grab life with both hands and give it all you've got!"
Until next week, keep dreaming and smiling