Bird’s Nest Rodeo Rumble

Several animal welfare associations in China have banded together to protest an eight-day rodeo show scheduled for the Beijing National Stadium in October.

The show’s producers, ZZYX Entertainment of Las Vegas, responded that they have “nothing to hide” and that all preparations are “on track” for the show, according to news site China.org. ZZYX met with representatives of the associations in Las Vegas July 8.

After the show was announced April 25, the animal welfare groups, which numbered more than 60, signed a joint letter appealing for the show’s cancellation, saying that rodeos “have long been criticized for animal cruelty and rejected by the overwhelming majority of Americans.” A horse trainer from the University of San Diego was invited by one the groups to the Las Vegas meeting. She said that rodeos are “definitely not a popular sport” in the U.S.

The sponsors of the rodeo reiterated that there will be no abuse involved and that the show is “an important component of the China-US cultural exchange program in 2011.”

One Chinese lawyer who is also an animal activist told China.org that she didn’t think there was any problem. “[Rodeos] are similar to roping horses in areas like Mongolia.”