I was watching the news this evening when a report came on about the Warwick Rodeo. They showed footage of a bull which had had its leg broken at the start of a bull riding event. The screen-shots showed how they attempted to move the bull with a utility vehicle, but this failed when the bull charged the ute. They then attempted to move it by bringing in more bulls so that they would herd together and all exit the arena. This worked but in the process, another bull mounted the injured one, and drove it into the ground for a few moments. After that, the footage showed the bull being loaded on a truck.
This isn't even news, but since they had the footage, the media decided to make it into a story. The story presented outrage at the cruelty suffered by this animal. There was even an interview demanding explanation by organisers of the event. To a non-rural individual, I can see how easy it would be to get caught up in the hype. I am visiting my parents in Brisbane this weekend and we saw the program during dinner. My mother (the problem solver) started discussing what she thought should have been done instead. It's what we do though isn't it? We see something like that on TV and immediately put in our opinions of what we would have done or what they should have done, even though we have no experience whatsoever with the field in which we are discussing.
What would I have done? So easy to comment from the comfort of my chair on the other side of the TV and after the event. I'd have done exactly the same thing. What are the alternatives? Shoot the bull? Then what? Get a rope or a chain and drag the carcass from the arena? That would have made an even better story for the media and would not really have been suitable for all the kids watching. What about a tranquilizer gun then? Again, how do you remove the sleeping bull without seeming brutal?
There was a problem, it was solved, no problem. The media had a nice little story but it didn't even make the headlines on their website.