Hundreds attend Valley West Stampede in Langley, including activists

Hundreds of spectators turned out Saturday for Langley, B.C.’s only professional rodeo, the second annual Valley West Stampede.

The three-day rodeo has doubled in capacity and features live music and food and liquor vendors in addition to regular rodeo events. Organizers said attendance was strong this year.

“(We) sold a lot of tickets online. I don’t have exact numbers, but they are steadily increasing every day, especially this (last) week. We get a lot of community support (through) word of mouth,” said Valley West Stampede President Rich Kitos.

Large rodeo events, bullfights and broncos, attract the most attention, not only from attendees, but also from a small group of activists parked out front.

“We are here to voice our opposition to the use of animals for entertainment,” said Paul Fader, an animal rights advocate.

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“We believe it is morally unjustifiable to use animals in this way.”

Rodeo chair Sheila Hicks said the event does not harm animals.

“The athletes, horses and bulls here are specially bred for this, and their success is our success,” she told PKBNEWS.

“We want everyone to be happy and healthy. This is how we evolve this rodeo life and keep our traditions and values ​​alive.

However, Fader said the animals’ actions say otherwise.

“They attach a device to the animal’s waist that puts pressure on the animal’s soft belly, causing fear and discomfort,” Fader told PKBNEWS outside the rodeo.

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“That’s why they oppose in the first place: they want them to get rid of it. »

Animal advocates aren’t alone: ​​A poll from a research firm shows that a majority of Canadians don’t support the use of animals for entertainment purposes like zoos and rodeos.

The poll, conducted by Research Co., showed just over two-thirds of Canadians are against the use of animals in rodeos.

“Since 2019, the proportion of Canadians who approve of the use of animals in rodeos has decreased by 10 points,” said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co.

“A majority of women (73 percent) and men (59 percent) are currently opposed to this type of entertainment.”

The Valley West Stampede has moved away from all roping events and only offers riding events.

&copy 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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