“The calves are quite literally yanked off their feet"

RSPCA Qld CEO Mark Townend

RSPCA Qld and Animal Liberation Qld call for ban on calf roping at Queensland rodeos in light of new scientific findings. 

Animal Liberation Qld and RSPCA Qld are calling for a state‚Äźwide ban on the rodeo event of calf roping (also known as ‘rope and tie’) in view of a 2016 study into the effects of calf roping, which found it causes an ‘acute stress response’. (University of Queensland research, published in the scientific journal, Animals*).

The study, led by Professor Clive Phillips from UQ’s Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Sciences, found increased concentrations of stress hormones in calves’ blood after the roping and concluded that the roping event in rodeos was stressful for both experienced and naïve calves.

Animal Liberation Qld Vice President, Gayle D’Arcy, said “The science is in and it confirms what has seemed obvious to most observers for a long time – namely, that this event causes distress to the baby animals involved. This stress and fear is hardly surprising, given that they are roped around their necks and jerked to a sudden halt when running away at high speed. 

Ms D’Arcy added “It is a community expectation that young and vulnerable animals deserve protection from fear, pain and exploitation. The calf roping event at rodeos is entirely unacceptable as a form of entertainment in 2016.”

RSPCA CEO Mark Townend said “The calves are quite literally yanked off their feet and can even suffer permanent injury. The calf roping event is not popular with the general public anyway. Virtually the only people who like it are fellow calf ropers.” 

Calf roping has been banned in Victoria since the early 1980s following the death of a calf during a calf roping event, and was banned in South Australia in 2007. All rodeo events are banned in the ACT.

Related RSPCA Qld articles: 

Calf roping at Queensland rodeos (short version) from Animal Liberation Queensland on Vimeo.