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SAFE 'disgusted' by footage from rodeo after altercation

Animal rights group SAFE said today it is "disgusted" by behaviour aimed at anti-rodeo activists in Northland over the weekend. 

Protestors bought tickets to a rodeo at the Mid-Northern grounds at Kokopu Block Road on Saturday, reported Radio New Zealand. 

Read: Rodeo protestors consider police action after supporters confront them at event

Video footage shows people attempting to block camera lenses and taking devices out of the hands of protestors. 

Marianne Macdonald of SAFE said "vigilantes in the crowd took it upon themselves to confront in the most appalling way, people peacefully filming". 

She said it said "a lot about the culture of rodeo".

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SUNDAY goes behind the scenes at rodeo's biggest show of the year – and meets the cowboys, the animals and those trying to save them. Is this hundred year old tradition, once a cornerstone of country life, now past its use-by date. Is it cruel or is it just sport? Source: Sunday

Mid-Northern club member Dianna Bradshaw told RNZ there was a no high-definition cameras policy and the group had been asked twice not to film, and began filming a third time. 

"I was yelling, 'Don't touch them [the activists]', but what did they think was going to happen? Did they think they could come in and not expect people to be upset?"

The camera ban was due to the possibility of footage being used out of context, Ms Bradshaw said. 

"We're doing everything we can. MPI [Ministry for Primary Industries] was here all day, animal welfare officers were here. These animals are so well cared for and loved," she said.