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Tuesday, 14 June 2011 (3015867)
Southport activists urge royal couple not to visit rodeo
by Natasha Young

A SOUTHPORT animal rights group has written to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, urging them not to visit the “cruel” Calgary Stampede rodeo during their forthcoming visit to Canada.

Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE), based on Shakespeare Street, sent a letter and a DVD of the “typical treatment of animals in North American rodeos” to Prince William and Catherine, as they get set for their first official overseas trip as a married couple at the end of the month.

Activist Tony Moore, the chairman of FAACE, said the letter was sent two weeks ago, following national newspaper reports that the royal newlyweds would visit the event during their tour of the country, which is set to include visits to Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and the capital, Ottowa between June 30 and July 8.

Mr Moore, whose wife and fellow animal rights campaigner Vicki died in 2000 after she was gored by a bull in Spain whilst filming ‘undercover', said: “I'm worried that Kate will break down in public, when she sees a calf being strangled when jerked to a halt at breakneck speed. I'm also concerned that the reputation of the Royal couple could so easily slip from popularity to their being despised.”

Having campaigned against rodeos since 2001, Mr Moore said the Calgary Stampede is “rated as one of the cruelest rodeos in North America”, and added: “None of the horses used are wild, they are tame, but they aggravate them by bashing them around.”

He said he has seen techniques such as pulling strapping around the legs of the horses to make them buck, and putting electric shockers on their heads before they go being used.

“People might see that Prince William and Catherine have been and think it must be ok,” added Mr Moore, who has not yet received a response to the letter and DVD.

However his plight has already attracted attention from four newspapers in Canada including the Calgary Herald, as well as a radio station over there, all of which he claims have been “quite sympathetic” to the cause.

A spokesman for Clarence House confirmed that the letter had been received, but said any response to it would be private between the palace and the sender of the letter.

He also told The Champion: “We haven't announced the couple's itinerary for their trip to Canada. We announced they will be going to Calgary but nothing more.”


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