What To Do About Rodeos

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Over recent weeks rodeos have made the news and been brought to the public’s attention, due to the injury sustained to a bull called Buckle Up at a rodeo in Warwick.

This allowed groups such as Animals Australia and the RSCPA to renew their call for rodeos to be banned, though they seem to be no closer to actually achieving this.

So, what can we do about rodeos, and will it be possible to get them stopped?

I do believe that they can be, though it will be a long tough, possibly mundane campaign where a majority of the work will be done behind the scenes, with very few, if any, opportunities for activists to be photographed holding placards or at protest rallies.

The following is written with a Queensland focus, as this is there area where I live, and I am familiar with the way things operate here, though I am sure that most of it would be similar to things that could be done in other states.

There are three ways to legally stop rodeos in Queensland;
1) Legislate against them
2) Reduce interest/demand for them
3) Make them no longer financially viable.

 

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Legislate against them

The unfortunate reality of Queensland’s unicameral parliament is that for the next two and a half years I cannot imagine any legislation being successful that called for a statewide ban on rodeos, and possibly for another three to six years after that.

The current LNP government has said that rodeos, just like the racing industry fall within their four pillars of economic growth, with the pillar being tourism. So putting pressure on the state government hoping they will have a change of heart can only be described as a waste of time.

The next option is local government.

Whilst this wouldn’t have a state-wide impact, the decision of one council to prohibit rodeos has the potential of being used as a precedent for others, if marketed effectively.

The first councils to approach would be either Brisbane City Council or Gold Coast City Council. Then of those two, Brisbane City Council would be the best option.

A suggestion would be to find someone who lives in the Council Ward of Tennyson, and approach Cr Nicole Johnston for a meeting.

From the it would be a matter of getting a petition listed on the BCC website, and encouraging those within the BCC area to vote. Depending on the outcome, there may be further discussions Witt he relevant BCC committee to develop a way the ban could be implemented, etc.

Once a favourable outcome has been achieved with Brisbane City Council, the next step would be to approach adjoining councils, and do repeat the process, using BCC as an example.

This process will take time and require a lot more planning and preparation, and very little glory for the individual(s) or organisation(s), and it will be the politicians who will take the credit for everything.

Reduce demand

This one is virtually impossible to achieve for a number of reasons.

Why should people stop going when an alternative hasn’t been presented to them?
If the desire is to stop people going to rodeos, then an alternative activity, which is more exciting, family friendly, etc needs to be available to those who would be going to the rodeo in the first place.

As I mentioned earlier, Queensland’s LNP government has decided that rodeos are a good tourism draw card. So any reduction in the number of people attending these events will result in the government spending more money on advertising.

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Financial viability

This particular section is aimed more at the smaller rodeos that do not have the larger budgets or draw cards that the bigger rodeos like Townsville, Mt Isa, etc have.

In the following example, I m going to use the Greenbank rodeo, which was supposed to be held this past weekend, though the process can easily be used for any other the other regional rodeos.

The Greenbank rodeo is held at the Greenbank Sports Ground, which is owned and managed by the Greenbank Sports & Recreation Club.

As this is an incorporated association under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981, it shouldn’t be to hard for an individual or individuals to become a full member of this club with voting rights.

Once membership has been approved, this new member could for arguments sake, put forward a motion that the 2013 event MUST have a vet on-site, not on call, and the the RSPCA must be in attendance too, ensuring that the relevant legislation and codes of practice are adhered to. All under the guise of protecting the club from a negative social media campaign similar to the one that Big W received after the Warwick rodeo.

Whilst this way of doing things isn’t a cure all pill, it may go some way towards ending rodeos in that area.

Another idea,and knowing how limited the resources of the RSPCA are, would be for a number of concerned individuals to form a group with the aim of establishing an organisation to investigate breaches of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, as the legislation allows.

These are just a few ideas that could be used as a way to end rodeos in this state, whilst they aren’t as public, not satisfy the need for instant gratification like protests do, if done right, they can be more effective.

It’s time to develop a different approach to campaigns, because whilst something may have been effective in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be effective tomorrow.

UPDATED: 23 July 2017 Correct spelling mistakes and formatting errors

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