Not happy with award

January 2019

It is my opinion that there surely must be a more deserving family-friendly event than a rodeo, that could have been awarded the Light Regional  Council's Australia Day Community Event of the Year?

I've always thought that rodeos are nothing but legalised animal abuse that send a very bad message not only to the community as a whole  but particularly to children, who should be thought respects and empathy for animals.

This will never happen while they watch bulls and horses bucking and kicking in obvious discomfort, distress and fear.

In my view, anyone who thinks this is entertainment needs to take a long, hard look at themselves.

I know that charities are struggling for donations but please, think long and hard where you are accepting funds from.

A.A Hodges

Bull rider boycott 

December 2018
What will it take for Adelaide Entertainment Centre to heed RSPCA animal-welfare recommendations and refuse Professional Bullriders Australia from presenting yet another appalling spectacle of cattle being abused for public entertainment.
Such a show is not suitable for children. 
We protect them from viewing screen violence yet there is no prohibition from young sensibilities witnessing real-life violence to animals in the name of cultural amusement . 
Simone Hunter

Ban the bulls 

December 2018
The RSPCA has called for a boycott on Saturday’s bull riding. 
It is time the public took note. 
It is inconsistent to value the rescue work this valued organisation does, yet turn a blind eye to RSPCA requests and advice when a desire for entertainment takes precedence over the welfare of the animals involved. 
Pamela Tyler

Why do we cage animals that can be as clever as Koko?

June 2018

In news last week we learned that Koko had died – the gorilla whose remarkable sign-language ability and love of kittens helped change the world’s views about the intelligence of animal.

Born at the San Francisco Zoo on July 1, 1971, she was loaned to Penny Patterson for scientific studies and under her tutelage learned 2,000 words and “spoke” 1,000. Koko referred to herself as “fine-gorilla-person”.

From age nine, when asked what present she wanted most, Koko would hold her elbows and rock her arms from side to side, the universal sign for cradling an infant. She nursed dolls constantly, pretending to feed and scold them. When visitors showed her photos of their children, Koko would take the pictures and coo over them, kissing their faces.

When Koko’s kitten, All Ball, was killed by a car, Koko reacted with horror, making a drawn-out moan that some gorilla researchers believe is the animal’s equivalent of sobbing. Over and over, she signed the words “sad”, “bad” and “frown”. Unable to believe All Ball was gone, she begged to see it: “Cat gorilla have visit. Koko love. Do visit do.”

There are currently 4,000 gorillas imprisoned in zoos around the world. What must it be like for these highly intelligent animals to be deprived not only of their freedom, but all semblance of a natural life?

If we want to “save” these animals from extinction, the only humane way is to conserve their habitat.

Jenny Moxham

Stress and zoo animals

June 2018

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 I disagree with letter writer Colin Walsh (“Zoos are needed more than ever”, June 16th).

With no tasks to exercise their intelligence or skills, zoo animals become depressed and listless and totally dependent on humans.

Some go crazy from the boredom, deprivation, frustration and stress. Signs of this are self-mutilation and abnormal repetitive behaviours, such as pacing up and down or rocking back and forth.

Even though the animals may look physically healthy and well cared for, they are telling us they are suffering from inadequate lives.

An additional cause of stress for zoo animals is the fact that they may be confined in countries which, in terms of climate, are the total opposite of those in which they have evolved to live. Each year elephants, giraffes and other animals adapted to the heat are forced to endure freezing winter temperatures in countries such as Russia and Canada where the winter temperature plummets to minus 30 Celsius. Likewise, polar bears are forced to bake in searing 40 degree summer temperatures.

We wouldn’t want to be treated this way – even if our species was endangered – and I’m sure they don’t either.

Jenny Moxham

Zoos both cruel and unethical

May 2018

Jenny Moxham’s compassionate letter “Chimps in zoos is both cruel and unethical,” hit the nail on the head, highlighting how animals are used for our entertainment in zoos, irrespective of the cost to the animals involved.


In reality, people spend very little time at each “exhibit” waiting for them to
“perform” and gain very little understanding of the individuals. These animals are sad,
bored and lonely, causing “zoochosis” pacing, and rocking back and forth. They are
unable to roam free or even choose a mate. They are often artificially inseminated so
their babies can be sold or traded to other zoos, often in unsuitable climates.

Hence as Jenny said, “... if zoo-bred chimpanzees can never be released into the wild what is the purpose of the captive breeding program?”
Restoration of their natural habitat is a much kinder and sustainable solution.

Diane Cornelius

Human race lost sight of what's natural

April 2018

One of the worst examples of this was the recent King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Bangkok, when people cheered as they watched confused elephants forced into submission and fearing punishment, to “play polo”. What could be more unnatural? The human race has a lot to answer for in the way we breed and misuse animals. 

The other letter was Jenny Moxham’s “Born to roam the sky, but everywhere in cages”. Sadly, caged animals and birds seem to become “invisible” after the novelty of “owning” them wears off. People go on with their lives, and the captive birds suffer long lives deprived of everything that is natural to them. I too believe that guardianship (rather than ownership) of animals is a privilege, and should only be undertaken when the animals involved are in need of care. Otherwise, creatures should not be taken from their homes in the wild.

Diane Cornelius

Animals are abused at our rodeos

March 2018

How can Australians support abhorrently cruel, un-Australian rodeos. They are an American abomination. During the Rockhampton rodeo held this week, a trussed bull broke his back leg.

Video footage clearly showed the leg swinging wildly as he continued to try to rid himself of the cinch rope, excruciatingly cruelly tied around his genitals. He was then forced with pods to “walk” up the ramp to the truck which is a complete violation of animal cruelty laws.

There was no veterinary help available and animal activists were driven away from the area. This disgusting spectacle of animal abuse was witnessed by children, who learn nothing about compassion for animals from the experience.

Diane Cornelius