Pamela Anderson sent the following letter to Alberta’s Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry (and copied to Twitter):
The Honorable Jason Kenney Premier of Alberta
The Honorable Devin Dreeshen Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Province of Alberta
Dear Messrs. Kenney and Dreeshen,
After recently moving back to my beautiful native Canada, my heart sank as I read about six horses who died in this year’s chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede. As an honorary director of PETA, I urge you to direct the Stampede to ban these deadly races.
Tightening the rules—as the Stampede did in 2010—isn’t enough. More than a dozen horses have died since then, because these races are inherently cruel and dangerous. Horses have suffered from fractured legs and broken backs, while others have had heart attacks. Anyone watching can see animals foaming at the mouth as their eyes roll back in their heads.
And the world is watching. Global news headlines about the Stampede show that Alberta knows these races are deadly for horses but continues to allow them anyway. This cruelty and indifference do not represent the Canada I know and love.
Please use your authority to end chuckwagon racing before more horses die.
Minister Dreeshan responded on twitter:
While a huge fan of your work, I respectfully disagree on your opinion about the care of rodeo and chuckwagon horses in Alberta. I’ve attached a letter in response and would be happy to meet with you, and introduce you to some of our farmers and ranchers.
MLA Dreeshan attached the letter he sent in response to Ms Anderson’s:
Thank you for your letter. Our farmers and ranchers work with animals every day. They know them and their needs first hand, not from a distance, and make their care a top priority.
These animals are bred to race and are often old and nearing the end of their working lives. Aberta Rodeos promote Alberta’s western traditions while giving horses a way to retire doing something they love.
Our rodeos are supervised by trained veterinarians and always striving to improve animal care.
The Calgary Stampede has implemented world-leading animal care protocols in order to reduce injuries and accidents. There are rest periods and professional monitoring of animal behaviour to mitigate risk during training and competition.
The owners of these horses care for them, they invest in them, and strive to provide the best quality of life for their animals.
I’d be happy to meet with you, and introduce you to some of our farmers and ranchers, to speak more on this issue at your convenience.