In July 2023, animal rights activists protested outside the Manitoba Stampede in Morris, Canada, after recent animal deaths at similar events. Every July, the Valley Agricultural Society hosts the Manitoba Stampede and Exhibition, the largest professional rodeo east of Calgary, Alberta.

Danae Tonge, an organizer of the protest with Manitoba Animal Save, said to CTV News, “These events are not fun for the animals. This is not a sport because the animals are not willing participants. They’re not consenting to participating in this… We would like the Manitoba government to shut down these types of events — rodeos and stampedes — that centre around animal entertainment, and use human-centred entertainment.”

In mid-July, a horse broke its back leg and had to be put down at a rodeo in Selkirk, Manitoba. A witness said, “As soon as the gate was open, he just came out, he flipped backwards, threw the rider off and then as he was trying to get up, stumbling on three legs. It was his back right leg that was just snapped.” Similarly, a horse was injured at the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races earlier in July and also had to be killed. The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition, and festival held every July for ten days in Calgary, Alberta. In 2019, a cow died as a result of an accident in a cow herding competition at the Manitoba Stampede. A group of about 15 activists also protested then, and protest co-organizer Cheryl Sobie said at the time, “It’s obvious violence against animals, but it’s become normalised in our society and it’s celebrated even though deep down, we know it’s nothing to be celebrated. We understand that (stampedes) are a place where communities come together and that’s great, but it shouldn’t revolve around animal violence.”

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.