Animal welfare campaigners have renewed calls for young animals to be banned from rodeos following the injury of a calf at Goomeri's New Year's Eve event.

A video of the event posted on Animal Liberation Queensland's Facebook page shows a young calf limping and struggling to walk after apparently being injured during the Under-12 Poddy Calf Ride event when it and the child riding it fell over.

ALQ rodeo campaign director Gayle D'Arcy spoke out against the incident.

"The injury sustained by the calf at Goomeri rodeo is a reminder of the dangers that rodeos pose to these vulnerable young animals, both in terms of physical injuries on occasions, and the fear and distress they create at each and every rodeo," Ms D'Arcy said.

Animal Liberation Queensland says rodeos continue to pose a danger to the health of young animals. Picture: File
Animal Liberation Queensland says rodeos continue to pose a danger to the health of young animals. Picture: File

National Rodeo Association animal welfare officer Steve Augustin defended the NRA-run event and said the group did not take such claims "with a grain of salt".

However, Mr Augustin said while the group would like to co-operate with the ALQ in the future "they tend to release things off the bat" without being fully informed or with all of the information presented.

Comments left under the post on the ALQ's Facebook page included claims the animal had been put down after the injury, which Mr Augustin said was untrue.

"It's in the paddock with the rest of the cattle," Mr Augustin said.

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The injury was most likely a strained ligament and the calf was doing well, a claim supported by a post on the ALQ's page by an account claiming to be the calf's owner, who said the calf "is back out in the paddock enjoying the green grass".

Minister Mark Furner is expected to make a decision on the use of calves in rodeo events soon. Photographer: File
Minister Mark Furner is expected to make a decision on the use of calves in rodeo events soon. Photographer: File

"We've had conversations … and extended the olive branch," Mr Augustin said of the ALQ.

"I wish they would take it.

"We do everything by the guidelines, and we have very strict guidelines."

These included the need for a vet to at least be on call if not onsite - Mr Augustin and Ms D'Arcy said they were unsure if one was present at the rodeo when the calf was injured.

"We don't run a rodeo unless there's a vet on call," Mr Augustin said.

As a state government decision looms on whether calf roping will continue to be allowed at rodeo events, Ms D'Arcy renewed the call for the "brutal" event to be stopped.

"This event is already banned in Victoria and South Australia," she said.

"We trust that the Minister (Mark Furner) will take note of significant community concern about the welfare of rodeo calves and will act in the best interests of animal welfare by prohibiting calf roping at the very least.

"All animal welfare groups throughout Australia agree this event should be stopped.

"Calves deserve greater protection under Queensland law."

Gympie Times


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