The RSPCA is urging Mid West residents to reconsider attending a major rodeo event due to the violent nature of calf roping and the animal cruelty they say happens inside the bull ring. With the Mullewa Muster quickly approaching, RSPCA WA wants to raise awareness of the risks to animals inherent in rodeo activities scheduled to occur at the family fun event. According to 2023 RSPCA polling, 61 per cent of people in Perth are concerned about the animal welfare impacts of calf roping, while 55 per cent wanted the sport scrapped for good. In regional WA, three in five people supported a ban on rodeo calf roping. RSPCA Australia senior scientific officer and veterinarian Dr Di Evans said all rodeo events posed welfare risks to animals, but calf roping was the most concerning. “In the thick of the action, it can be easy for spectators to miss signs of fear, pain and stress, including escape attempts, bellowing, mouth gaping, white eye, tongue protrusion and tail swishing,” she said. “At least the humans participating in these rodeos have a choice, the animals do not.” The RSPCA WA said calf roping was effectively banned in South Australia and Victoria because of a minimum body weight of 200kg for cattle, while rodeo events are banned in the ACT. Dr Evans said rodeos were promoted as a traditional part of rural life, but the way animals were treated did not reflect modern farming practices and RSPCA WA wanted to see it banned. “People can help by raising awareness of the risks inherent in rodeos, by not attending events in their local community and by expressing their concerns to those businesses still associated with rodeos,” she said. The Mullewa Muster & Rodeo will be held on Saturday, June 3.