VIDEO: Vet, experts react to bull collapsing at Gympie rodeo
THE owner of the bull involved in an incident during the recent Gympie Bull n Bronc event has insisted the three-year-old was not "incapacitated" but "having a tantrum" amid calls for vets to be mandatory at all rodeos across the state.
This year's event attracted strong reactions on local Facebook groups after Animal Liberation Queensland posted a one minute, 38-second clip of the incident, which seemingly showed the bull's hind legs go limp before it appeared to collapse in the show ring.
Rodeo clowns were seen making multiple unsuccessful attempts to get the bull to its feet before its flank strap was removed, it eventually righted itself and appeared to trot out of screen.
VIDEO BELOW SUPPLIED BY ANIMAL LIBERATION QUEENSLAND
In sharing the video, filmed by a Bull n Bronc attendee, ALQ rodeo campaign director Gayle D'Arcy said the group wanted to highlight the lack of legal requirements for vets to be present at state rodeos.
"It doesn't matter if you do or don't support rodeos, vets being mandatory should absolutely be the case everywhere," Ms D'Arcy said.
She said the bull looked to be in obvious discomfort in the video, but Bull n Bronc stock contractor Kerry King denied her animal had received any injury.
"He's a bad tempered little fella, it was his first rodeo, but he's perfectly fine," she said.
"He's a naughty boy, but he'll outgrow it."
The National Rodeo Association, which sanctioned the Gympie Bull n Bronc event, released a statement saying all NRA rodeo affiliations were not accepted unless a vet was either on call or present on the paperwork.
"Animal welfare is always top priority for the NRA, we have strict guidelines that are followed set by the animal welfare code, to ensure that all livestock used are healthy before and after all events," NRA animal welfare executive director Steven Augustin said.
Gympie Veterinary Service's Greg Cavanagh said the bull appeared to make a "complete recovery once the flank strap was removed".
"It would appear that there was no injury. It is possible to conclude from the video that the flank strap attributed to the ataxia (loss of muscle control)," Dr Cavanagh said.
"Bos indicus cross cattle are known to 'sulk' under times of stress and therefore this would explain the reason for staying down until the flank strap was removed," he said.
Dr Cavanagh indicated he would support the implementation of an Australian Veterinary Association policy stating rodeos "should be permitted only where there is appropriate legislative control to ensure the welfare of the animals involved".
He said long distances and availability would make compulsory vet attendances "problematic" but having vets on call "would be a positive step".
State Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said making vet presences mandatory at rodeos was being considered during the government's development of new animal welfare standards and guidelines for rodeos.