Published on: April 20, 2017 | Last Updated: April 20, 2017 11:24 AM EDT
SPCA Montreal launched a "Montreal Alive and Rodeo Free" campaign in April 2017. SPCA Montreal / Fa
Describing a rodeo planned as part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebration as “a barbaric activity,” the Montreal SPCA has launched a website aimed at marshalling public opinion against the event and convincing the city to cancel it completely.
Christened notorodeo.com, the website’s petition against the event had already received close to 2,000 signatures within hours of its being unveiled Thursday morning. The online campaign is the latest salvo in a battle waged against the rodeo by the animal welfare group since the start of the year, after the Nomadfest, which bills itself as an “urban rodeo,” found itself transformed into a political hot potato for Montreal city hall. The event is scheduled to be held in the Old Port in August.
The SPCA contends that rodeos in general subject the animals to undue stress and “unnecessary suffering.” Organizers of the event have countered that the animals are well treated, high impact events such as calf roping and chuck wagon events are not on the agenda and that the rodeo will allow spectators to reconnect with the land.
Projet Montréal, the official opposition at city hall, has also expressed concerns over the rodeo, questioning the effects on the animals involved and the event’s relevance to the city’s 375th anniversary.
The outcry over the rodeo has so far caused the Loblaw food chain, a major sponsor of the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations to pull its brand from NomadFest event.
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