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Planned rodeo in Brookswood draws opposition from SPCA

Second animal rights organization to oppose the new rodeo event
Bull riding, seen here at the 2019 Cloverdale Rodeo, is one of the vents the SPCA says causes pain and distress to animals. (Black Press Media files)

The BC SPCA has joined the Vancouver Humane Society in speaking out against a new rodeo event planned for the Labour Day long weekend in Langley.

“Allowing this rodeo to take place would not only be a major step back for animal welfare, but also goes against the values of our society, as a majority of British Columbians are opposed to using animals in rodeos,” says Melissa Speirs, manager of farm animal welfare for the BC SPCA.

Similarly to the Humane Society’s objections, which were announced earlier this spring, the SPCA said that the events planned for the rodeo cause pain and distress to the animals.

Speirs pointed to saddle bronc riding, bareback and bull riding, and barrel racing as problems.

Socring in several of those events depends partly on how well the animal bucks, and flank straps or spurs are used to incite bucking, said Speirs.

“As an animal welfare organization, we are opposed to the infliction of pain or suffering upon any animal for the purpose of entertainment, says Speirs. “We do not support the use of animal handling and training techniques that use pain or fear to motivate certain behaviours, which unfortunately occurs in many rodeo events.”

“B.C. has a long tradition of cattle ranching, and we believe these skills can be showcased through demonstrations of low-stress handling and horse-riding events that do not cause fear, frustration, anxiety, pain or injury to animals,” said Speirs. “We know that everyone is eager to reconnect with their communities after the past two years, but we encourage people to only take part in community events that do not put animals at risk. There are many wonderful family events, including those with an agricultural focus, taking place in our province this summer. The rodeo doesn’t need to be one of them.”

The society is urging people to contact Langley Township to oppose the rodeo, or to sign an online petition at

READ ALSO: Humane Society opposes planned Langley rodeo event

READ ALSO: 2022 Cloverdale Rodeo cancelled

The new rodeo in Langley, apparently to be held at the Langley Riders outdoor arena in Brookswood, is being organized by the Valley West Stampede Society, with Rich Kitos, a former vice-president of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association, attached to the project.

Black Press Media confirmed with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association the event has been approved.

The event’s listing on the Rodeo Canada website says that “Animal health & welfare is of utmost importance at this event. Any mistreatment of livestock will not be tolerated.”

Black Press Media is attempting to reach organizers of the event.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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