Australian Professional Rodeo Association
The Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) is a national governing body for the sport of Australian rodeo. it was founded in 1944 in Sydney at a coffee shop by rodeo contestants. APRA has been setting the standards for rodeo in Australia for over 50 years.
The Australian Rodeo consists of many events some of which are junior and ladies' (open) barrel race, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, bareback bronc riding, rope and tie, steer wrestling, team roping and the steer ride. Males, females and kids are all involved in the Australian rodeo circuit.
National Finals Rodeo
The premier event for Australian Rodeo is the NFR. It was first held in 1960 in Queensland.
Controversy over Animal Welfare
Controversy currently surrounds the rodeo industry in Australia . As the APRA is a self-regulating body, concerns have been raised by animal welfare groups and the Australian Veterinary Association regarding the ethical treatment of animals used in rodeo events. These concerns include the lack of animal welfare policing at events and the non-mandatory attendance of veterinary professionals. Cattle prods and shocking devices have been seen to be used gratuitously despite this practice being in opposition to the APRA code.
Further, psychologists have expressed concerns over the appropriateness of events which demonstrate the sanctioned tormenting of animals for entertainment purposes.
Rodeo events are banned in the Australian Capital Territory.