Hundreds of veterinarians oppose upcoming urban rodeo for city's 375th

Veterinarians and animal rights advocates are digging in their spurs, telling the city to buck its plans to host an urban rodeo this August as part of Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations.

“[It's not acceptable] when entertainment can cause psychological and physical suffering,” said veterinarian Jean-Jacques Konaboun, among a group of vets that protested outside city hall during a council meeting on Monday.

Konaboun and nearly 600 other vets and vet technicians have signed a petition for presentation to city council.

They are joined in the opposition by the Montreal SPCA, which has spoken out against any bull riding or bronco bucking.

The opposition at city hall is not on board with the planned rodeo, but for a different reason altogether.

“It's supposed to be a celebration of our history over 375 years and I don't know where a rodeo fits into our history,” said Projet Montreal councillor Sterling Downey.

The goal of the rodeo is to attract tourists to Montreal that might not otherwise be inclined to visit, public safety official Anie Samson told council on Monday. 

The incidence of injuries among rodeo animals is 0.0046 per cent—or roughly one in 200—according to figures on the organizer of Montreal's upcoming rodeo: Nomadfest. 

The mayor has defended the plan, saying animals are respected by the organizer during the events.

Loblaws withdrew its sponsorship of the urban rodeo last month.