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Jul 18

Rodeo approved in Shellharbour: updated

Shellharbour resident Sue Moran is concerned about the upcoming rodeo hosted by Shellharbour City Sharks rugby league club this month.UPDATED: THE Shellharbour Sharks will host a rodeo at RonCostello Oval this month despite opposition over animal welfare concerns.
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Concerns Shellharbour councillorPeter Moran and a resident raised aboutanimal welfare in animal spectator sports turned the spotlight on the East Coast Bronc and Bull Rodeo Championships event.

Cr Moran had said he found it “offensive to council process” that the club were advertising the rodeo before the development application (DA) had been approved by council.

The application was approved today,Tuesday, November 4, however advertising for the event began in October.

There were seven submissions in the DA process, which closed last Wednesday,one wasplanning related and the remaining were in relation to the treatment ofanimals.

A council spokesperson said the determination, some time this week, would be based on issues raised in the DA process andthe level of concern expressed by the community.

“As is the case with any DA, a determination may be by way of approval, conditional approval, or refusal based on the details and merits or otherwise of an application,” the spokesperson said.

However, ABC reported that the event could possibly bepostponed.

The club proposes to host the event at Ron Costello Oval on November 29. The event will reportedly feature some of the best bull and bronc riders in the country.

However, Shellharbour resident Sue Moran said she was disappointed the club lodged the DA when rodeos were “condemned by animal protection organisations”.

“Animals for entertainment is just barbaric and morally wrong,” she said.

“Frightening an animal and chasing it around an arena is just cruel, and then you have to consider the transportation from place to place.”

Ms Moran said she had concerns about the flank strap which is tied around a bull to make him buck when released from the chute.

“It seem as though the animal is made to suffer for the pleasure of people,” she said.

“Some people just don’t think about the cruelty involved in a sport like this and I just want people to think a bit more about it.”

President of the East Coast Bull and Bronc Championships wrote a letter in response to claims rodeos were a form of animal cruelty which can be viewed here.

Cr Moran said he considered rodeos cruel and a “relic” tradition from the “bygone age” that no longer related to farming practises.

“In a modern society, I just don’t think it’s appropriate. Rodeos might be seen as traditional, but they bear no relation to Shellharbour or even animal husbandry practices,” he said.

“The main reason is that these activities involve animal cruelty.

“That is why organisations such as Animals Australia and the RSPCA are against rodeos and they recognise that the animals perform from fear and pain.”

An RSPCA Australia spokesperson said there were no plans for NSW RSPCA inspectors to attend the event, and said the organisation were “strongly opposed” to rodeos.

However, “where rodeos are permitted to be conducted, RSPCA Australia advocates the adoption of compulsory registration and licensing”.

These regulations are set out by the NSW Code of Practise for the Welfare of Animals Used in Rodeo Events, approved by the Animal Welfare Advisory Council.

Chairman of Shellharbour City Sharks rugby league club Allan Cody said he was disappointed the views of some people had called the event into question.

“People are entitled to their views and that is fine,” he said. “But I have had a huge number of people come to me and say how wonderful and fantastic it was to have a rodeo in the local area.

“We try and do a good thing for the community and find activities in summer to get money so we can run the club because we aren’t supported financially by other means.

“These guys (East Coast Bull and Bronc) have been in the industry for quite some time, they are a legitimate, reputable company, there is a vet in attendance and as in all rodeos they regulated.”

Mr Cody said the DA was lodged with council in September but didn’t progress until October and the club were running out of time to advertise. Mr Cody said the club would lose more than $5000 if the event didn’t go ahead.

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