Royals urged to skip 'cruel' Stampede


Animal rights groups are advising Kate and William to stay away from the Calgary Stampede. (CP)

Prince William and his new bride Kate should cancel any plans to attend the Calgary Stampede during their royal tour next month, says an animal rights group.

The Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe group has written to the royal couple, urging them to skip what it calls a “callous and cruel” rodeo.

FAACE chairman Tony Moore told the Daily Mirror that the rodeo is “North America's bullfighting.”

"I'm worried that Kate will break down in public when she sees a calf being strangled when jerked to a halt at breakneck speed,” he said.

"I'm also concerned that the reputation of the royal couple could so easily suffer by showing their support to this event."

While the couple’s day to day itinerary hasn’t been finalized, they will be in Calgary the same day the Stampede opens, July 8. Both Prince William’s father, Prince Charles, and his grandparents Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have attended the Stampede on previous royal tours.

Along with the letter, FAACE also sent William and Kate a DVD from the U.S. 
group SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) that shows the apparent mistreatment of animals used in a rodeo.

"The animals in rodeo are domesticated, tame animals forced to behave in a wild manner by various devices (electro shocker, flank strap, spurs and beating to name just a few),” Moore writes in his letter to the royals.

"They are terrified and not wild. They fear for their lives and often come to grief.”

The Stampede has long been a target of animal rights groups. In 2010, six animals died during the 10-day event, prompting rule changes to reduce the threat of animal injury. The changes have been regarded as “superficial” the the Calgary Animal Rights Meetup group.

A Clarence House spokesperson told the Mirror that plans have not be finalized for the trip, that begins June 30 in Ottawa. Other stops on the tour include Montreal, Quebec City, the Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island.

Royal wedding costs

The final numbers are in for the costs of security around the royal wedding April 29.

The bottom line was $11.4 million (Canadian), according to Scotland Yard.

According to figures attained through a Freedom of Information Act request, there were 6,388 officers employed around the wedding, which drew about a million people to central London.

The costs are less than the $16 million estimate, but does not include extra planning costs or the cost of using officers above the rank of inspector. Because it was a holiday, all constables and sergeants earned double-time.



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