Montreal's SPCA launches web site against 375th rodeo

The Montreal SPCA has long opposed mayor Denis Coderre's plans for a Montreal rodeo to mark the city's 375th birthday, and now, it has launched a web site as part of its campaign to have this summer's event canceled.

The event is dubbed NomadFest Urban Rodeo, and is due to take place from Aug. 24-27 at the Old Port. 

The new web site, notorodeo.com, was launched Thursday morning. A petition against the rodeo has been signed by more than 2,500 people as of noon.

The site also contains images and information designed to highlight exactly what the animals are subjected to, and information on how people can get in touch with the city administration and voice their opposition to the event.

Alanna Devine, the SPCA's director of animal advocacy, says the event is not only cruel, but out of place for a city like Montreal.

"Rodeos are an entertainment activity that has no cultural or historical connection to our city," Devine says, "and more importantly, rodeos subject animals to fear, pain, and stress, and undue risk of injury or death — really, for an unnecessary purpose, which is so-called 'entertainment'". 

Organizers of the event are billing it as "the wild west in an urban setting", featuring rodeos, country music and gourmet food experiences. The rodeo will contain bronc and bull riding events, but not things like calf roping or chuckwagon races.

Devine says their campaign is also targeting sponsors of the 375th anniversary celebrations. One sponsor, Loblaws, has already indicated it would not support the idea of a rodeo, she says.