68 Animal Welfare Organizations Say No to Rodeo, with support from Chinese Media and Entertainment Industry
(the press conference of “No Rodeo Performance in China” was successfully held on 15th July)
“Rodeo has been condemned by Westerners for many years for its extreme violence towards animals. Such a performance, if ever held in Beijing National Stadium (also known as Bird’s Nest), would be an utter disaster for the privilege of innocent animals and the dignity of the whole population of China.” Said many distinguished Chinese researchers and animal welfare organizations at a press conference in China Chamber of international commerce, Beijing, on 15 July, in protest to the upcoming rodeo in Bird’s Nest.
During this conference, in an official open letter cosigned by 68 animal protection associations, including Capital Animal Welfare Association and China animal protection journalist Salon, it said that the rodeo is against the Regulation on Foreign Art Performance and Exhibition issued by the Ministry of Culture, against the main spirit of certain Chinese policies banning the abusive animal shows, and will also serve as a obstacle to the legislation of upcoming laws concerning animal protection in China.
“With our limited knowledge of the current situation of China’s animal protection, we do know that every living creature has the right not to be enslaved and abused. They all have equal right to air, water and food, which cannot and should not be depraved by humans in any way”, quoted from short messages sent by famous director Zhan li, actors Sun Chun, Huang Zhizhong and Li Guangjie to the commit. They also wished the success of the press conference and a brighter future for all living beings on earth.
Rodeo China, one of several cultural events that were planned in early April, part of the second annual China-US Consultation on People-to-People Exchange was launched, and the organizers planed a 7day’s rodeo event of American wild west, including bull riding and other traditional rodeo events, with a prize money as high as 8 million US dollar.
On the conference, in a solemn statement to the organizers: two US companies, ZZYX Entertainment and Less is Forever More Inc., 68 Chinese animal welfare organizations required them to face the violence and abuse the animals are suffering from rodeo, and stop the misleading rodeo performance scheduled in the time of Chinese National Day celebration.
（a calf of 3 or 4 months, when chased by horse, was suddenly jerked around the neck with a rope while running at 35 km/h. one can imagine the tremendous force suffocating the calf, which might lead to serious injury or even asphyxia ）
At the conference, Zhou Zunguo, the Chinese representative of CIWF (the Farm Animal Welfare Council), introduced the origin of the west rodeo competence. ‘From the original sport event, the rodeo gradually became involved with money, and the prize money changed original cause of skill-study for cowboys. Zhou also played and comments on several videos from an organization called SHARK（Showing Animal Respect and Kindness）on the violence on rodeo playground. For 16 years, SHARK has videotaped more than 200 scenes of animal abuse on rodeo playground.
In the scene, a fast running calf was suddenly jerked around the neck with a rope. It flipped in the mid-air and hit the ground hard, and was kept being dragged by a horse; in another one, horses were angered by electricity or rib belt，and continue jumping after cowboys had dismounted until they tripped and twitched on the ground.
Any violent behavior of animal comes from physical pain or fear, said Liu Lang, director of Beijing small animal diagnosis and Treatment Industry Association. “Rodeo being introduced to China as a cultural event might be due to the ignorance of the organizers. I do hope more people are aware the pain such events are causing animals.”
(in 2007 SHARK videotaped electric shock use in rodeo held by PRAC, who claimed to have abandoned electric prod. Since then PRAC has lost its credulity.)
As early as half a month ago, professor Lin Degui from China Veterinary Association of pet clinic appealed to the public on this issue. ”We do respect different countries’ diverse traditions, yet it is the common will of all Chinese veterinarians that such inhumane event should stop. We don’t want to see any abusive commercial performance of animals.”
Dr. C. G. Haber, a veterinarian with thirty years experience as a meat inspector for the USDA, says in his research report: “The rodeo folks send their animals to the packing houses where…I have seen cattle so extensively bruised that the only areas in which the skin was attached was the head, neck, legs, and belly. I have seen animals with six to eight ribs broken from the spine
and at times puncturing the lungs. I have seen as much as two and three gallons of free blood accumulated under the detached skin.”
Only less than 2 percent of American thinks that the rodeo is highly entertaining to them. Such views that rodeo represents the west culture of US are actually rootless. “Any decent rancher, whose aim is to rear healthy livestock for market, would never do harms, abuse and crucial killing to their animals like what is done by the cowboys, because such behavior would inevitably lead them to bankruptcy.”
“Seven sins will come out once rodeo enters Bird’s Nest: the distortion of the spirit of sports, the distortion of real world life, savage entertainment, harms to human, being against American culture, against the cultural tradition of China and against the world’s mainstream of animal protection ” said Jiang Jinsong, Associate professor of Tsinghua University Technology and Social Research Institute. “It is not a culture exchange project, and the organizers should think twice and stop it. ”
According to American Society of mental disease and The Federal Bureau of investigation, they oppose to animal abuse because they think that those who abuse animals are more likely to be brutal to other people. And there was a unanimous declaration against rodeo in Bird’s Nest during National Day celebration from six animal welfare organizations including The Royal Society for prevention of cruelty to animals, The United States International PETA, The farm Animal Welfare Council, World Society for the protection of animals, Animals Asia Foundation and Asian animal protection action team.
(A calf was pulled by an rope and fell heavily in an unimaginable posture. Due to this obvious brutality it is banned in United States and Canada, but was showed proudly as the first event this April in Rodeo China’s new conference)
Chinese animal-welfare organizations call for the Ministry of Culture to re-examine the rodeo performance, “cultural exchange is a constructive work, but we should focus on bringing in projects on real humanity, projects that can effectively enhance the understanding between the two peoples and the overall spiritual civilization. Those obsolete, money-orientated and highly abusive shows and exhibitions are against the humanism, against the international mainstream and is not what Chinese people want,” said professor Mang Ping from The Central Institute of socialism. ” And during the celebration of National Day, when families usually get together and watch TV, such negative images of animal being arbitrarily abused on Nest’s playground will surely serve as an indicator for the society, and will exert a bad influence on young people.”
In 2004, Mang Ping, and Li Xiaoxi, the then deputy to the National People’s Congress in Haidian district, had successfully called off a project of introducing bullfighting from Spain and rodeo performance from US to Beijing. Li Xiaoxi called on for Chinese legislation on animal protection in order to prevent any other similar project from entering China.
(Mang Ping from The Central Institute of socialism with several then deputies in 2004, had successfully called off a project of introducing bullfighting from Spain and rodeo performance from US to Beijing)
Chinese government has showed a clear attitude towards commercial animal shows, and after the regulation On Further Strengthening the management of the zoo views and To further standardize the wildlife viewing performance behavior issued from Chinese government ,the organizers’ decision to hold a cruel animal show is the open challenge to Chinese polies, said Zhang Shijun, associate professor of Shandong University.
On the conference, Qin Xiaona, director of Capital Animal Welfare Association and the representative of 68 Chinese animal-welfare organizations, openly stated:
“The applications Rodeo China handed to the Chinese government should also be accessible to Chinese animal-welfare organizations and experts. It is deceit to avoid, weaken or even cover the cruelty of rodeo and the fact of rodeo being publicly suspected in the application. It is our requirement that the application from Less is Forever More, Inc should be censored. ”
Qin Xiaona, director of Capital Animal Welfare Association said any means of animal entertainment should be eliminated. Rodeo is not part of American mainstream culture. And the Chinese organizers should think twice about this project.
Meanwhile, Chinese animal protection organizations also appealed to the American organizers to explain the possible use of rodeo animals to their exporter country. In about a month, the 80 cattle and 40（bosons）to be used on this rodeo will be transported to China from Australia. According to the Chinese representative Zhou Zunfu, Australian people and local animal protection organization are also pushing for legislation against live ox export, after the scandal of Australian live ox being mistreated in Indonesia was revealed. Chinese organizations will also inform Australian embassy in Beijing to interfere in the export of live animals to China for the purpose of rodeo.
At the same time, 68 animal protection organizations said they would demand more scrutiny of the project from the ministry of culture. According to THE REGULATION ON FOERIGH ART PERFORMANCE AND EXHIBATION published in 1997, foreign performing arts and exhibitions that advocate violence, horror or violates the moral values of Chinese society should be prohibited from entering China. They also claimed that under no condition should rodeo ever be approved in China by the Chinese government, and any future exhibition, performance or communication projects, when concerning animals, should first be approved by domestic and international animal welfare organizations with an overall evaluation of the treatment animals receive.