We’re urgently petitioning Brazil senators not to legalize animal cruelty

November 29 2016

Tomorrow, Wednesday November 30, senators in Brazil will vote to allow some forms of animal abuse in the name of culture, including cruel ‘Vaquejada’ sport

Currently, the Brazilian Constitution forbids all practices that subject animals to cruelty.

However, if voted in, the constitutional amendment (PEC 50) will open exceptions to practices registered as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ in Brazil. This would include both rodeos and ‘Vaquejadas' which cause tremendous suffering to the animals involved.

A brutal sport

Similar to bullfighting in Spain, Vaquejada is considered a cultural tradition, and is also inherently cruel.

Bulls are chased by men on horses, brutally pulled by their tails until they fall to the ground, subjecting the horses to stress and bulls to severe physical abuse. Bulls’ tails have several nerve endings, so pulling them causes extreme pain.

Some bulls even have their tails completely ripped off during Vaquejada.

“Supporting the brutal torment of animals for entertainment deeply tarnishes the animal protection legislations we currently have in Brazil," said Rosangela Ribeiro, our veterinary programs manager in Brazil says.

“Vaquejada is cruel and outdated and has no place in modern society; culture should stop where cruelty starts.”

Cruelty, not culture

Authors of the Constitutional amendment proposal claim that the Vaquejadas are an important tradition. However, the severe animal cruelty involved in sports such as Vaquejada is not justifiable by the idea of tradition.

If the amendment is approved, cruel activities involving animals will be carried without restraints. It could also be used to validate other activities that threaten the welfare of animals.

"Vaquejada is cruel and outdated and has no place in modern society; culture should stop where cruelty starts."
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