Ban on 'running of the sheep'

2011-08-15 08:36

Wellington - An animal welfare group urged Rugby World Cup organisers on Monday to ditch plans to stage "the running of the sheep" in New Zealand's largest city Auckland during the tournament.

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Under the plan, about 1 000 sheep will be herded down Auckland's main road Queen Street, accompanied by sheep dogs and bikini-clad models riding quad bikes.

The Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said it had received "a barrage" of complaints about the event, designed as a light-hearted take on the running of the bulls festival in Spain's Pamplona.

SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said the plan, part of the Real New Zealand Festival organised to coincide with the World Cup, risked breaching the Animal Welfare Act and causing the sheep unnecessary distress.

"Should sheep be harmed in this activity the owner would face possible charges under the Act, not a good look in a World Cup environment with the eyes of the world on New Zealand," she said.

Kippenberger said the SPCA objected to the inhumane use of animals for an entertainment "side show" and organisers should abandon the idea.

"The risk they take in not providing a draw card for their festival is small in comparison to the distress of the animals and the likelihood of world approbation if even one sheep is harmed," she said.

Festival organisers said the local Auckland SPCA initially supported the sheep run but the event was now being reviewed in light of the national body's opposition.

A similar event hit problems in 2009, when 1 500 sheep were released in the North Island town of Te Kuiti but leapt over fencing on the main street and bowled a woman over in their eagerness to escape, knocking her unconscious.


  • Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 08:47

    The first thought that came into my mind when I read the heading was that the sheep were running from the shaggers.

      Hardekwas - 2011-08-15 09:03

      Die bikini modelle op die quad bikes behoort dit die moeite werd te maak.

      Tantrum - 2011-08-15 09:25

      First thing I thought was that the Smit and his buddies are not allowed to play in the RWC

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 09:36

      Tantrum, you should know better. Half the time Smit and his buddies don't run in any case, they walk.

      Tools1 - 2011-08-15 09:50

      What do you call an Ausie with a sheep under each arm? ...........a playboy!

      McDaNife - 2011-08-15 09:50

      Wow there are 2 types of meat including the bunny clad models. Well the saying goes meat men must, its a bait to Smit and his merry men.

  • michaelp1 - 2011-08-15 08:58

    Bunny Huggers - no end to them. Today is MORE MEAT MONDAY!

      Wayne - 2011-08-15 11:25

      It takes a lot of character to hug a bunny. What kind of murderous attitude do you need to kill an innocent animal and eat it's flesh ? You've shown yourself up to not have any compassion for other beings. In the past, people used to say "they're only slaves", "they're only women", "they're only jews", "they're only christians" - anything to justify cruelty and oppression. Grow some balls, idiot.

      The Observer - 2011-08-15 13:15

      hehehe. wayne "What kind of murderous attitude do you need to kill an innocent animal and eat it's flesh ?" well more than 3/4 of the world eats meat. So there you go, more than 3/4 of the world has that attitude. Now I hope you never buy plactic bags, always ride a non motorised vehicle and do not have a girl that uses haispray and hairdryers. Cause you are murdering the plannet. sparkie - fatally injure animals? what about horse riding in all forms then hey, you gonna ban that as well? some perspective peoples mich - hey I guess you need bunny huggers as well to keep the balance

      Jakkals - 2011-08-15 18:58

      Wayne: Hoe dom kan mens wees? As daar nie skape geslag word vir hulle vleis of geskeer word vir hulle wol nie sal daar nie meer "onskuldige" skape wees nie. Dan sal daar nie meer met hulle geboer word nie!!! As daar nie jagters is wat wild skiet nie sal daar nie meer wild oor wees nie. Hoekom ? Want daar word nou wetenskaplik met wild geboer en tesame word die natuur beskerm. Vat net een vb soos Kenia waar daar nie gejag mag word nie en kyk hoe het die getalle wild verminder. Dink dink net verder as wat die neus lank is.

  • jockvanwyk - 2011-08-15 09:06

    its the only virgin sheep left in the country because they run so fast

  • Notuagain - 2011-08-15 09:40

    Running sheep, sheep dogs & bikini-clad models on quad bikes.... Crikey the Kiwis like variety...

      Comrade Mike - 2011-08-15 09:54

      The sheep are for the locals, I bet Mollie is their all time NZ Sports Illustrated babe. The models are for the South Africans that have emigrated there. Shows the great hospitality there and how they cater for all the community.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 10:10

      Hi hear Molly got a Brazilian wax for the occasion.

  • Shadow - 2011-08-15 09:43

    Don't the sheep run away from the NZ boys everyday anyway? :-) At least there is models in bikinis for the rest of the world to enjoy.

  • Shark-Chic - 2011-08-15 09:53

    Running Sheep through the streets is far from entertaining! Now chicken chasing could be funny!!!!! :-)

  • roboman1 - 2011-08-15 14:17

    Pity, this would have distracted both the australian and new zealand players, they would not have focused on the match

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