No Wild West in the East!

China plans to stage its first rodeo ever in October 2011

Cowboys, calves, bulls and horses are currently on their way from the US to Beijing for “Rodeo China”. This first ever rodeo event in China is to take place at the Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) from October 3rd – 10th, 2011. It is part of a US-Chinese cultural exchange programme.

photos: Animals Voice/SHARK

Chinese animal welfare organisations have launched a campaign against this ‘entertainment’ coming to their country because of the animal cruelty involved. Animals used in rodeos suffer from physical injuries, fear and stress, and often a painful death. Tremendous pain is caused by electric prods, straps and spurs used to make the animals buck. Broken bones and tails result from jumping on and grabbing the animals. Calf roping causes horrific neck injuries and trauma when they are slammed to the ground.

Cruelty in the name of culture Rodeos are controversial and have greatly diminished in popularity over the last decades in the US because of the animal cruelty involved. But American organisers Less is Forever More Inc and ZZYX Entertainment claim to bring pure “American Culture” into China. They have found co-organisers in two cultural organisations, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and China International Friendship Cities Association. The organisers promise that this event will have the largest prize purse in rodeo history.

ACTAsia states: “Watching and participating in such cruelty cannot improve the culture or development of a country, and dehumanises the people involved. The organisations involved appear to be targeting China’s youth, the future of the country – young people need compassionate and positive messages instead of the message of cruelty and violence that these organisations are bringing to China. It is a regressive move, and one that only benefits those who are trying to profit from the pain of others.”

Our Chinese colleagues have held meetings with the organisers and issued a joint statement together with international animal protection groups, including ACTAsia. They have also hosted a press conference to increase public awareness on the upcoming cruel rodeo event. Please join the efforts in trying to stop rodeos moving to China and write to:

1. Rick Garson, Executive Producer of Rodeo China and ZZYX Entertainment:   [email protected]  2. Edwin Winfield, President and Co-founder ZZYX Entertainment: [email protected]

3. Li Gou Lee, Secretary-General, China International Friendship Cities Association: [email protected] 4. Wu Jin Jun, General Manager, The National Stadium: [email protected]; [email protected]

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Chinese animal protectionists, lead by Qin Xiao Na, Capital Animal Welfare Association, Green Beagles, Animal Protection Reporters Salon and Prof. Mang Ping, explaining at the press conference why rodeos are not welcome in China.