Abbotsford, BC – Rodeo’s have been under the microscope for years. Protesters and animal rights activists would love to see the grand daddy of them all, the Calgary Stampede, shut down.
As the wear of words and mindsets continue, the Abbotsford Agrifair will shrink by one day and cancel the rodeo all together.
Officially organizers of the Agrifair say the rodeo has been cancelled to save money following a $51,000 deficit in 2015.
The decision was made in January, four months after the fair’s board of directors announced the contract of general manager Pamela Brenner would not be renewed, in order to save about $68,000.
Others say it was bowing to peer pressure.
The Vancouver Humane Society posted on their website: The Abbotsford Agrifair’s rodeo has been cancelled. Organizers say the decision to cancel the rodeo was made to save money, but the event has been surrounded in controversy because of the inhumane treatment of rodeo animals.
VHS has been campaigning against the Abbotsford rodeo for years, calling media and public attention to cruel events like calf-roping and steer-wrestling. Last year, nearly 2000 VHS supporters emailed the Agrifair to call for an end to such events. VHS also contacted the rodeo’s sponsors, asking them to end their support. Our campaign, backed by radio ads and social media reached thousands of Abbotsford residents and compassionate people across the province. Clearly, the message is getting through: There is no place in the 21st century for events that abuse animals for the sake of entertainment.
This is the second B.C. rodeo to fold after campaigns by VHS. In 2015, the Luxton Rodeo on Vancouver Island was also cancelled.
Organizers admit that attendance might take a serious hit in the next couple of years due to the lack of rodeo fans and the money that it brings into the community.