SAFE pleased with private prosecution against cowboy who allegedly used cattle prod on calf

Animal rights organisation SAFE are pleased a private prosecution case has been brought against a rodeo cowboy who allegedly used an electric cattle prod on a calf.

The New Zealand Animal Law Association said yesterday it is bringing a prosecution against the man who was identified in footage screened on RNZ's Checkpoint programme.

The footage appears to show the man repeatedly using the device on a calf confined in a chute, SAFE said.

The Ministry for Primary Industries looked at the footage last year and decided to issue a warning instead of bringing prosecution.

SAFE Head of Campaigns Marianne Macdonald says it really should be up to the MPI to take animal abusers to court, but applauds NZALA taking the case.

"We fully support the private prosecution of these people who think it's OK to abuse animals for fun ... it's another example of MPI failing in its job to protect animals in rodeos," Ms Macdonald said.

"Where MPI fails, other organisations are stepping up."

SAFE says it believes the man's actions are a breach of the Rodeo Code and the New Zealand Animal Welfare Act.

"We can only hope that the NZALA’s private prosecution is successful and that the man responsible for abusing this calf is held to account," Ms Macdonald said.

"Ultimately, however, SAFE wants an end to Government-sanctioned animal abuse and is calling for a total ban on rodeo."

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