Friday, 10 July 2015

Open Letter to Premier Notley

July 10, 2015

The Honourable Rachel Notley, M.L.A., Premier of the Province of Alberta
Office of the Premier
Room 307
Legislature Building 10800-97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB  T5K 2B6

Phone: (780) 427-2251
Fax: (780) 427-1349

Dear Premier:

RE:  Animal cruelty at the Calgary Stampede

We, the Directors of Animal Alliance of Canada, strongly and urgently request that the Chuckwagon Race events taking place at the Calgary Stampede cease immediately.

We further request that Chuckwagon Races and all other events that negatively impact the animals be permanently removed from all future Calgary Stampede schedules.

Two horses have already been injured, resulting in their being destroyed.

These deaths have occurred after the Calgary Stampede Directors have made adjustments to how the races are conducted in an attempt to make them safer for both human and animal participants. Clearly, those changes have not made this event safer nor is it really possible to do so given the nature of the event itself.  Year after year we hear expressions of regret from Stampede organizers as horses suffer and die in the name of entertainment.

We believe that horse injury and death cannot simply be attributed to human error. Humans do make errors, especially during an event such as this. The event is of itself unacceptably dangerous and distressing for the horses made to participate.

More than 50 horses have died as a result of being forced to participate in the Chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede since 1986, according to reports. These recent deaths clearly demonstrate that this event is inhumane and unacceptably dangerous to animals in its essential design. Chuckwagon racing causes distress and injury to animals and so must be stopped immediately and not reinstated.

It is our position and belief that under the statutes of the Alberta Animal Protection Act that there are legislative grounds for deeming this event to cause and permit undue distress to animals.

We note that the industries and uses that are exempt from this statute, such as animal care, management, husbandry, hunting, fishing, trapping, pest control or slaughter, do not include entertainment.

Chuckwagon racing cannot be considered to be an extension of agricultural use and should not be exempt on those grounds. Chuckwagon racing is clearly designed for the sole purpose of providing entertainment and as such is not an exempt activity or use.

Further, our position and belief is that under the Alberta Animal Protection Act that Peace Officers working with the Calgary Humane Society and the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have both the power and the duty to act in this matter.

We call on all parties that have influence, including:
all Directors of the Calgary Stampede,
the Calgary Humane Society
The Alberta SPCA
The Mayor and Council of Calgary
The Premier of Alberta
and all Canadian citizens to act as soon as possible to end this event immediately to prevent further injury, distress and death to animals.

We kindly request a response.

The Directors of Animal Alliance of Canada

cc:  Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta

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