Position Statement


Sentient, The Veterinary Institute for Animal Ethics, opposes the use of animals in rodeo and calf roping events.


The use of animals at these events risks serious welfare threats and safety concerns for people involved. These events are poorly regulated and often occur in remote locations which can make enforcement difficult.


Such events represent highly physically and psychologically stressful environments to animals, exploiting prey animal's fear response all for the benefit of sport and entertainment. Stimulating bucking behaviour, rodeos capitalize on animals' instinctive counter predatory response and survival

reactions which are initiated by fear and/or pain.


Animals are highly sensitive (they can detect a fly on their coat) and advanced riders understand and

respect that all contact should be minimal and gentle. Calf roping has been associated with increased stress hormone levels (including cortisol, epinephrine and nor-epinephrine) as a result of binding animals legs and tossing them to the ground.


Sentient promotes animal use and work only when it is in line with animals’ natural behaviours within the limits of acceptable welfare standards.