Montreal 375 Rodeo will proceed under supervision: Officials
Published Wednesday, June 7, 2017 7:35PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 8, 2017 6:31PM EDT
The law professor who was seeking an injunction to stop Montreal's rodeo this summer has withdrawn his application.
Following negotiations with city officials, professor Alain Roy backed down, and has reportedly reached an out-of-court agreement with city officials.
Roy, along with a group of his students, had applied for a court order to stop the spectacle, arguing that rodeos violate Quebec's laws regarding animal welfare.
After some deliberation, the city will be enforcing guidelines and tight surveillance to placate those who are opposed to the rodeo.
In addition to three representatives from the rodeo industry, three animal experts and two Quebec agricultural inspectors will be at the rodeo to ensure the animals are well-treated.
Roy will be allowed to select two experts to report back to the advisory committee with their findings, while agents from Quebec's Agriculture Ministry will draw up best practices guidelines for rodeos in the province.
Inspectors will also be at the Saint Tite rodeo this summer, which is run by the same organization.
The Montreal SPCA expressed concern about the motivation behind Roy's decision. They allege that rodeo organizers resorted to "financial pressure tactics" and "threatened to sue the professor personally."
The courts also allegedly required Roy to put up a $100,000 surety at the time of filing -- ensuring that he would assume some financial responsibility if the rodeo was cancelled, and if tourist income was subsequently compromised.
The injunction was based on Quebec's animal welfare law that acknowledges animals as "sentient beings."
According to Roy and his students, the staging of the rodeo directly violates these animal protection laws, and reportedly had an expert witness ready to testify to the rodeo's harmful effects on animals.
“There’s a rule of law, they can do what they have to do but, frankly, rodeos exist," Mayor Denis Coderre told CTV Montreal at the time of filing.
"My concern was the health of the animals— we were assured that everything was going accordingly," he said.
The Montreal SPCA is still urging Montrealers to sign a petition opposing the event. As of this writing, the online petition has amassed over 25,000 signatures.
NomadFest, the Urban Rodeo, is expected to run for three days, from Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 in the city's Old Port.