Law Professor and Students File Lawsuit to Stop Montreal Rodeo

Law professor Alain Roy and a group of law students from the Université de Montreal filed a lawsuit today, asking the Superior Court of Quebec to impose an injunction to stop the Nomadfest Urban Rodeo from taking place this summer.

Montreal has come under fire from animal lawyers, advocates, and veterinary experts for its plans to hold rodeo events this August as part of the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations. Rodeo events are incredibly cruel to animals, causing intense fear, suffering, pain, and risk of injury—all for the sake of cheap entertainment. Animals don’t perform willingly in rodeos; they are coerced into running, bucking, and other behaviours through fear, pain, and brutal training methods. The Montreal rodeo is expected to include bull riding, and bareback and saddle bronco riding.

The lawsuit argues that the event violates provisions of the Quebec Civil Code as well as the Animal Welfare and Safety Act. Amendments to Quebec’s Civil Code introduced in 2015 were groundbreaking, recognizing that animals aren’t just “things” but are “sentient beings”. Quebec law protects animals from pain, suffering, and extreme anxiety, and allows for large fines and even jail time for those convicted of harming animals under the legislation.

The rodeo is set to take place in the Old Port from August 24-27. Montreal has no historical or cultural connection to rodeos, and a petition by the Montreal SPCA against the rodeo has already gathered over 22,000 signatures. Over 600 veterinarians and vet techs have also signaled their opposition to the Montreal rodeo.

Animal Justice applauds Professor Roy and his students for their work to use the law to shut down animal cruelty. Rodeo events have no place in a compassionate society!

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals