Criminal case against cowboy a 'publicity stunt'

A criminal case against a rodeo cowboy is nothing more than a publicity stunt, New Zealand Rodeo has said.

A chute that is used for calf roping

Photo: RNZ/Paloma Migone

Criminal charges have been filed by the New Zealand Animal Law Association after a cowboy allegedly used an electric shocker on calves and cattle.

But the president of the New Zealand Rodeo Lyal Cocks has called it a “publicity stunt”.

“The incident occurred over 20 months ago, and it was thoroughly investigated by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). In June 2017, MPI issued a formal warning to the individual involved saying that prosecution was not warranted.

“Now, 17 months later, this animal activist organisation decides to take a private prosecution. Why this incredible time delay?

“One can surmise because the organisation is clearly anti-rodeo, and it’s the start of the new rodeo season.”