Ladysmith native Pamela Anderson has given her two cents on the issue of the treatment of animals at the Luxton Pro Rodeo, held in Langford over the Victoria Day weekend in May.
The former Baywatch star and frequent social activist took to Twitter on Friday, writing “Vancouver Islanders, please don’t support the Luxton Rodeo! Help @VanHumane and @VCARE2013 end rodeo cruelty on the Island.”
The Twitter handles are for Vancouver Humane and Victoria Citizens Against Rodeo Events, two groups opposed to the use of animals in rodeos.
Melissa de Meulles, organizer for Victoria Citizens Against Rodeo Events, said her group reached out to Anderson in the hopes of getting her involved. Meulles and others have been staging protests at the rodeo for the last three years and have asked the City of Langford to ban roping and wrestling events in the municipality, as well as all forceable handling of livestock.
“We truly appreciate her agreeing to support our cause … It has brought a lot of attention to what we’re trying to do,” de Meulles said. “Those particular events are inherently cruel and cause fear and distress to the animals, and they risk injury and death.”
Kynan Vine, animal welfare co-ordinator with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, which runs the Luxton Pro Rodeo, said he finds Anderson’s views to be misinformed. He said there are 40 rules in place devoted to the protection and humane handling of the animals.
“If we were able to educate these people that have those concerns, give them a first-hand look at what’s going on in the rodeo, they would know that we take the utmost care of these animals,” Vine said. “It’s disappointing to hear people say that kind of thing, because there’s so many people in rodeo that care about the welfare of the animals.”