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Chuckwagon horse dies following Stampede race, animal rights group demands justice

An animal rights organization is demanding a crack down on animal cruelty in the rodeo scene following the death of a horse that was removed from a chuckwagon race at the Calgary Stampede on Monday.

According to a release from the Calgary Stampede (CS), a chuckwagon race horse required veterinary care due to a "serious internal medical condition" during a race yesterday.

The 14-year-old gelding, owned by Troy Dorchester, later died as a result of that condition.

A post-mortem exam is underway to "learn as much as possible" about the horse's death, who had passed a veterinary exam prior to the chuckwagon races, CS says.

"At this time there is no indication that this medical condition is specific to chuckwagon racing," the release noted.

Animal Justice, an animal rights group, is calling for an investigation into the incident, alleging that the rodeo is engaging in animal cruelty.

“It’s time for law enforcement to finally crack down on animal cruelty at rodeo events. This latest heartbreaking horse death must be fully investigated,” said Camille Labchuk, a lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice.

“It’s illegal under Alberta’s provincial animal welfare laws to cause distress to animals, and rodeo events are not above the law. Predictably, animals die and suffer serious injuries nearly every year in chuckwagon races and other dangerous rodeo events at the Stampede. This crisis of cruelty urgently needs to be addressed by law enforcement and the courts.”

Labchuk cites an animal death tracker being done by Vancouver Humane Society, stating that 100 animals have been killed in the rodeo since 1986.

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