Rodeos in Victoria - information for participants
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (POCTA) Act and Regulations set out the requirements for the licensing and operation of rodeos in Victoria. The legislation sets out requirements for both the operators of, and participants in, rodeos.
See rodeos in Victoria for more information on the regulation of rodeos and rodeo schools.
This information is for the benefit of participants and highlights regulations that they need to be aware of and comply with.
Participants at rodeos can be fined or prosecuted if they do not comply with the requirements of the regulations.
Participants at rodeos include:
- stock handlers
- employees of the licensee or permit holder
- spectators (in some cases).
Participants at rodeos have a responsibility to be aware of and comply with the following requirements:
- Unfit or injured animals must not be used.
- Animals must not be struck or poked with any item in such a way that unreasonable pain or injury is caused to the animal.
- A roped animal must not be pulled backwards off its feet or be dragged.
- Animals, other than cattle and horses used in the rodeo, must not be taken or allowed in the arena during an event or training.
- Fireworks must not be used during a rodeo event or used on the premises of a rodeo school while the school is being held.
- A person must not ride in, take part in or handle animals used in a rodeo if they have a blood alcohol concentration over 0.05 or are under the influence of drugs.
There are also a number of regulations that cover issues such as fitting, use and type of equipment.
- Saddles must be correctly fitted
- The front cinch on a bucking animal must be a minimum 12cm in width and the rear cinch is not to be over-tightened
- Flank straps must not be tightened more than twice on an animal in the chute, must incorporate a quick release device and must be lined
- Pads must be placed under the rigging of a horse in bareback events and must extend at least 5cm beyond the back of the rigging
- Cattle used in roping events must wear horn wraps
- Only free running paddle or spur rowels may be worn when riding a horse
- Only spur rowels that are capable of at least half a turn may be worn or used when riding a bull
- Spur rowels must be dulled, a minimum of 3mm in width (at narrowest part) and have a minimum of 2cm to the point of the rowel
- Sharp or cutting objects must not be used in the cinch, saddle, girth or flank strap
Use of electric prodders
- must not be used on cattle less than 3 months of age
- must not be used on horses at any time
- must not be used excessively or when the animal cannot move away.
Electric prodders can only be used:
- on the hip or shoulder of cattle more than 3 months of age
- on cattle in the chute where the animal is down in the chute in a position to rise or the animal has refused to leave the open chute.
Failure to meet these requirements could result in a fine or prosecution for the person who commits the offence.
Fines vary from 1 to 3 penalty units — approximately $192 to $576.
Maximum court penalties vary from 5 to 20 penalty units, depending on the offence — approximately $960 to $3,846.
Penalty units are updated each year on 1 July. In the 2023-2024 financial year a penalty unit was valued at $192.31.