CALGARY—National animal law organization Animal Justice is calling for animal cruelty charges after a horse was killed on Saturday after being forced to compete in the deadly chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede.
“The Stampede competitors and organizers know full well that every year, horses will almost certainly die from horrific injuries in the ‘half mile of hell’ chuckwagon races,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “Animal Justice is calling on the Calgary Humane Society, Calgary Police, and Alberta SPCA to finally hold this event accountable by bringing charges before the courts. Rodeos aren’t exempt from animal cruelty laws, and should no longer be given a free pass to kill horses for cheap thrills.
“Even with new rules aimed at improving safety, horses are still dying. There’s simply no safe way to hold this deadly race and it should be permanently canceled.”
According to tracking done by the Vancouver Humane Society, over 100 animals have been killed in Stampede rodeo events since 1986. Yet no rodeo event at the Stampede has ever faced prosecution.
In 2019, six horses died. The Stampede was cancelled in 2020, and in 2021 there were no chuckwagon races, with organizers citing safety concerns due to the lack of a racing season in the lead up to the event. As soon as the chuckwagon races resumed in 2022, another horse died.
Rodeo is considered so cruel that it has been banned in jurisdictions around the world, including the City of Vancouver, the United Kingdom, and many American states and cities.
Animal Justice is asking members of the public to join us in calling for an end to cruel and dangerous rodeo events at the Calgary Stampede.