Prince Harry angers animal rights groups by attending rodeo despite Meghan’s activism
Harry was pictured attending the Stockyards Rodeo event in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday, a decision that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – better known as PETA – described as “hugely disappointing” .
Prince Harry has drawn the ire of animal advocates after enjoying an American rodeo.
The Duke of Sussex’s attendance this weekend came despite his wife’s longstanding animal rights activism.
Dressed as Indiana Jones, Harry was pictured attending the Stockyards Rodeo event in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday.
The backlash began after Sussex friend and unofficial biographer Omid Scobie tweeted a photo of the royal at the event.
“Living his best American life, Prince Harry was in Fort Worth, Texas this weekend and spent Saturday at the historic Cowtown Coliseum for the famous Stockyards Rodeo,” he wrote.
“The Duke was spotted by locals enjoying good Southern hospitality and a VIP tour of the venue.”
The move backfired, alerting animal activists and drawing criticism from social media users.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – better known as PETA – told the Mirror: ‘It is hugely disappointing to see that Prince Harry has made the error of judgment of attending a rodeo, gross amusement and old for bored cowboys who view animals as nothing more than things. .
“At these events, participants use electric prods, flank straps and spurs to burn, injure, terrorize and provoke animals trying to flee for their lives.
“Animals usually suffer from broken bones, punctured lungs, broken necks or torn muscles, and they sometimes die in an arena – and even those who don’t end up scared out of their minds in a slaughterhouse – so anyone who cares about animals should avoid these shows of suffering.
One Twitter user wrote in response to Scobie’s photo: “This is so cruel. I wish they would ban these damn things.”
“Prince Harry’s support of the rodeo is deeply disappointing,” added Chris DeRose, founder and president of Last Chance for Animals.
“Given the Duchess’s activism on animal rights issues, it is inconceivable that the Prince would find the abuses perpetrated by the rodeo entertaining.
“We encourage Prince Harry to learn more about the tools of terror used in bull riding. His ignorance and naivety only undermines the Duchess’ immense legacy and her work to end cruelty to animals.”
Last Chance for Animals currently has a petition calling for rodeos to be banned.
The non-profit organization said of these rodeos: “The self-contained bull riding events glorify animal abuse because they pass themselves off as family entertainment.
“For example, horses and bulls do not rear up naturally. They are frightened animals that rear up to escape torture devices common in rodeos, such as electric prods, flank straps and spurs.
“Afterwards, the injuries to animals can be numerous; broken bones, torn tendons, torn ligaments and broken necks.
“Animal abuse has no place, and our laws need to be changed to reflect animal empathy. Banning rodeo may be a victory, but your voice is needed.”
Former bull-turned-trainer Cory Melton, who attended Saturday’s event, had posted and deleted the same image of the Duke, Scobie tweeted.
He claimed Harry, 37, made a joke about his ability to compete in the rodeo.
“Prince Harry is hanging out at the rodeo this week… We’re getting a lot of rodeo royalties, but he’s the first prince I’ve seen,” Cory’s company, Melton Bull Co, said.
“He said he was going to get into bull riding, but the airline lost his rig bag….”
Cindy Reid, Secretary of the Stockyards Championship Rodeo, took to her Facebook page to commemorate the Duke’s attendance.
“Where was Prince Harry on Saturday night? Oooooh, just hanging out behind the bucking chutes at the Stockyards Championship Rodeo. Love it. Thanks for the visit,” she wrote.
Today the post appears to have been deleted.
Previously, Meghan, a self-confessed animal rights activist, allegedly convinced Harry to quit his much-loved hunting hobby in 2018.
It has been claimed that she urged him to start skipping the Royal Family’s historic annual hunts.
His aversion to hunting is thought to have caused problems within the royal family in 2017 when Harry allegedly took part in a wild boar hunt in Germany.
Realizing his then-girlfriend “wasn’t happy”, the prince reportedly refused to join the royal family’s Boxing Day hunt that year.
He has not been seen since at such an event.
In May 2020, it was reported that Harry had sold a pair of Purdey shotguns, believed to be worth around £50,000, in a private deal before the couple left the UK for the Canada and later moved to the United States.
Meghan, a patron of London-based animal charity Mayhew Trust, often speaks out about animal rights and ending animal cruelty.
She once embarked on a ‘secret’ trip to the cat and dog sanctuary in January 2020 before leaving the UK for Canada.
Afterward, Mayhew’s media manager, Sarah Hastelow, said Meghan had “been such a champion for animals and animal welfare. It’s always been a passion for her.”