An animal welfare organization is calling for North Okanagan residents to “speak out for the animals and call for the cancellation of this inhumane event.”
The Vancouver Humane Society has called for the cancellation of the Bull Bash & Barn Dance, slated for Saturday, April 22, at Lumby’s Pat Duke Memorial Arena because bull riding is a part the event.
The bulls and barn dance are to help raise money for arena improvements.
“Bull riding, like most rodeo events, relies on causing animals distress in order to make them perform,” wrote Peter Fricker, projects and communications director for the Vancouver Humane Society, in a letter to event organizer Angie Clowry.
“Rodeo bulls buck because a flank strap is tightened around their hindquarters, causing stress.
“We believe no animal should suffer for the sake of human amusement.”
Clowry said bull riding flank straps are lined with sheepskin and are soft to the touch, and it is illegal in bull riding for any sharp, friction or rubbing material to be placed on the strap.
She said animal activists have an important job drawing attention to abused animals, ensuring solid standards are created and monitored, and that “unscrupulous practices are not tolerated.”
“But to be against or hope to outlaw animals from performing tasks they are physically adapted to perform robs them of the purpose of their being,” said Clowry, who produced a list after doing her own research on ‘7 myths I have read up on about bull riding.’
Among the myths, she said, is that bulls and horses don’t buck naturally.
“Have you ever been on a horse? Walk up to any untrained horse and strap a saddle on it and get on,” she said. “Now try this with a bull. Bucking is a natural reflex for animals. The animals are enabled to buck and kick without pain or discomfort.”
Fricker said “virtually all animal welfare organizations oppose rodeos, including the B.C. SPCA, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and the national SPCAs of the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.”
D&B Rodeo Stock of Salmon Arm is presenting the Bull Bash (arena doors open at 4 p.m.). Tickets are $25 ($30 if purchased after April 18). Kids five and under are admitted free.
There will be family line dance and two-step dance lessons, a chance to get pictures and autographs with the bull riders and bull fighters, a ‘Pin the Tail on (DJ Swervin’) Steve Nagy’ game and live music from Vancouver band Rollin’ Trainwreck.
There will be two rounds of bull riding along with the popular Ring of Fear event.
A beverage garden will be available.
Angie Clowry Presents the Barn Dance portion of the evening, with doors opening at 9 p.m. Tickets for this event are also $25 ($30 after April 18).
It’s a 19-plus event with live music from Rollin’ Trainwreck, Kelowna’s Lost N Found & Lumby’s DJ Swervin Steve Nagy.
Tickets are available in Lumby at Jitterbeans and Take Two, and in Vernon at Enlighten Hair & Tanning.