Call for state-wide bull riding ban after catastrophic injury

December 10, 2017

RSPCA South Australia is calling for a state-wide ban on bull riding to end “legalised cruelty” after a bull suffered a horrendous leg injury during an event at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre last night.

Shocking video footage captured by spectators attending the Professional Bullriders Australia (PBR) event show the bull bucking frantically while being ridden before falling to the ground, breaking its hind leg.

RSPCA South Australia inspectors will launch an investigation into the incident and the treatment of the bull following its injury.

But RSPCA South Australia Animal Welfare Advocate Dr Rebekah Eyers expressed frustration that current laws only allowed inspectors to step in after animals in rodeo-type events had been seriously injured.

“It is clear that the law as it stands is insufficient, because it doesn’t prevent animals suffering in these events – the law only allows our inspectors to ensure animals are treated humanely after they have already been inflicted with legalised cruelty,” Dr Eyers said.

“This is exactly why we object to these forms of entertainment, which inflict completely unnecessary suffering on animals for the sole purpose of human entertainment.

“We will be gathering a team of senior legal counsel to investigate what can be done to change laws to make bull riding and rodeos illegal in South Australia.”

Dr Eyers called for a complete ban of such inhumane, unethical and out-dated events across South Australia. Outlawing rodeos and bull riding would follow a growing global trend, with such events already banned in overseas countries and the Australia Capital Territory.

“Animals in South Australia are currently denied key legal protections from acts of cruelty. We need to make this kind of entertainment illegal,” Dr Eyers said.

“Like all rodeo events, bull riding fails to meet the basic principles of good stock handling practises, namely to minimise stress, fear and suffering.”

RSPCA South Australia has also launched a petition calling for Adelaide Venue Management Corporation (which manages the Adelaide Entertainment Centre) to commit to never hosting a rodeo or bull riding event again.

“Bull riding events belong in the dark ages and we are shocked that our iconic Adelaide Entertainment Centre would showcase an event that provokes bulls’ stress responses for entertainment,” Dr Eyers said.

“Bull-riding is clearly not family entertainment – you would never forgive yourself if your children had to witness such a distressing scene.

“Adelaide Entertainment centre should never have held this event – this bull’s death could have been avoided.

“We want to be better than this in South Australia – as individuals and as a community.”

Members of the public can sign the petition at:


*Warning: some viewers may find the following video footage distressing.*

Further background information:

Rodeo and bull riding events are still legal in South Australia.

Organisers of rodeos must first obtain a permit from DEWNR, essentially legalising the activity.

Due to animal welfare concerns, rodeo events (including bull riding) are illegal in the ACT, as well as many overseas countries, with growing momentum for bans in others nations, too.

For more information about the RSPCA’s position on rodeos, please seee:

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