Shocking video shows animals’ ‘freak’ rodeo deaths
MORE than six men pushed the dead horse on to a front loader in front of the crowd of spectators.
Moments earlier, the horse had been hurt while trying to buck a rider off at the Quamby Rodeo in outback Queensland.
A few hours later and just seconds after bucking off a ringer, a bull broke at least one hind leg in the same arena, in front of the same crowd.
Both times a group of men ran into the ring with a screen to prevent the injured animal from being seen as a veterinarian euthanized them on the spot.
The front loader removed the horse and the bull before the rodeo continued in the small town, about 50km from Cloncurry, last Saturday.
The Quamby Rodeo organisers have called losing two animals on the same day a rare and "freak accident."
But animal rights group, Animal Liberation Queensland, (ALQ) who have released a video showing the July 28 deaths, have lodged an official cruelty complaint with the RSPCA.
Chay Neal, executive director of ALQ, said there were concerns regarding the way the bull, in particular, was handled after several men pinned the 750kg bovine to the ground.
"The bull fell at 2.47pm and was killed and taken away at approximately 2.56pm. The bull could be heard bellowing for several minutes," the written complaint states.
"Within seconds after the injury (leg break/s) occurred, several men attempted to jump on and grab the bull, which appeared to cause further stress from the animal and force more weight onto his broken legs."
The RSPCA has referred the complaint to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, also known as Biosecurity Queensland, who say they are investigating.
The video of the horse and the bull has outraged animal lovers, with many saying watching it made them physically sick.
"Just barbaric. In front of children, desensitising children to it all," Debbie Davis wrote under the video on the ALQ's Facebook page.
Jayne Hall said it was "appalling treatment of an animal."
"No animal should be used and abused in the name of sport/fun," she wrote.
Quamby All Sports Association President, Anthony McMillan, said animals had rarely been hurt during the 22-year-history of the town's rodeo.
"This was an unheard of, freak accident," he said.
"You can't say never but how many rodeos are there and to go and see that happen, it is rare.
"I've seen four or five cowboys break their legs or arms though, it's normally the humans that get hurt."
Mr McMillan said the men who held down the bull minimised pain for the bull.
"All the committee members that jumped on the bull and held it down should be commended for putting themselves at risk so the vet could get to it within seconds," he said.
The grazier said most of the 3000 people who attended the rodeo were those who had up to half of their stock wiped out during floods earlier this year, so they did not want to see any animals hurt.
"Heaps of people lost thousands of cattle and had to go out and shoot lots of bogged cattle," he said.
"Everyone is just getting back on their feet now and to have a rodeo like that just gets everyone together where they can talk about their losses.
"Plus, every cent raised at the rodeo gets donated back to the community to places like the hospital and the School of the Air kids."
Mr McMillan said rodeo competitors loved their animals.
"All the competitors love their animals, no none is there to hurt anything," he said.
"It's a sport and all the animals are athletes.
"Most of them actually love it. As soon as they buck the cowboy off they walk back to get unsaddled and get back on the hay."
Colin McTaggart, president of Rodeo Services Australia, said the deaths were "unfortunate." "For two animals in one day to get broken legs, it's very seldom happened," he said.
"It's very sad but very unusual and it's sad for everyone because rodeo animals are treated as good as any racehorses."
Mr McMillan said Quamby started having a veterinarian on the sidelines a couple of years ago, following concerns by animal welfare groups.
Mr Neal said he was happy the outback town provided a veterinarian, something that was not a mandated requirement for rodeos.
"We'd like to see all rodeo events stopped, but we're realistic and know it will continue for quite some time," he said.
"So we provide any information that points out where the issues are and what could be helpful in improving the welfare of the animals in the future
Mr Neal said ALQ volunteers try to attend as many rodeos as possible to "keep an eye" on them and in an attempt to help people "Rethink Rodeos."
"This is the eighth death we've captured in the past 18 months at rodeos," he said.
"If we not there to there to capture it, industry or the media wouldn't report it."