Animal rights activists will hold a silent protest at a bull-riding event next weekend in Halifax.
“We just believe that there’s no longer a place for that kind of event in 2018,” said Alex Rudcovski, who spoke for Concerned Residents of Nova Scotia about the Professional Bull Rider Canada show coming up Saturday at the Scotiabank Centre.
Bull-riding event organizers often clash with those who say the sport causes stress and pain for the animals.
Nobody from the Scotiabank Centre or Monster Beverages, which is sponsoring the event, was available to comment.
A PBR Canada promoter told The Chronicle Herald in 2006 that the animals are not under pain or duress.
Flank straps put on the bulls just before they enter the arena are not fastened too tight, the promoter said. Riders are disqualified if their spurs cut the animals, he said, and electric prods would only be used in the event of an emergency during the sorting or loading of animals.
But Rudcovski said the rider must provoke an aggressive response from the bull, “so in order to do that, you can be sure that none of that is done in a nice manner.”
If other animals, such as dogs or cats, were subjected to what the bulls experience, it would fall under the Criminal Code’s description of cruelty, the group said.
A petition organized by her group protesting the Halifax event has garnered 76,000 signatures on the website change.org.
The group has advised Halifax Regional Police about its protest and has contacted sponsors, said Rudcovski, who is a student at Saint Mary’s University.
“We’re just using this (protest) to raise awareness because we don’t want this event to come back again,” she said.