DEPUTY Mayor Victor Attwood has taken a stand against rodeos, calling for them to be outlawed the way the council banned circuses with exotic animals.
Cr Attwood spoke out during a vote at this week's council meeting about sponsoring the National Rodeo Association finals at Brothers Leagues Club.
Describing rodeo as "a cruel and barbaric sport", his stance sparked a division, with all councillors required to register their vote.
Of those in the meeting, Cr Attwood was the only one to vote against sponsoring the rodeo. The council will now give it $5000.
"I just think it's cruel to the animals. It's nothing to do with Brothers," he said yesterday.
"People have the choice to participate but the animals don't. I've always been an advocate for animal and human rights and that's why I voted against it. It's no different to the circus animals."
In 2009, Ipswich's council became the first in Queensland to ban circuses with exotic animals on council land.
"I'd like to see rodeos banned but I don't have the support for that," Cr Attwood said.
RSPCA chief executive Mark Townend applauded Cr Attwood for his public opposition to rodeos.
"I congratulate Cr Attwood for moving on with the times. There are better ways of entertaining ourselves than putting animals at risk," Mr Townend said.
"I'm sure the rodeo people care about their animals, but they're willing to put the animals at risk of torture, torment or death in some cases."
Jason Hall, organiser of the City of Ipswich Brothers Rodeo, defended the rodeo's record of looking after its animals.
"This is our 17th year running the national finals at Brothers and we've never had an injury to a head of stock," Mr Hall said.
"I'm also a rodeo stock contractor that has the horses and bulls that we supply to the rodeos.
"I'm happy for the councillor to come out and have a look and answer whatever questions he has. The animals used in rodeo are very well looked after and protected in what they do."
Mr Hall said that not only were rodeo animals not treated cruelly, many showed they enjoyed it.
"Rodeos are governed by a very strict code of conduct with animal welfare clauses in it," he said.
"The stock are bred specifically for it. They are not forced to buck against their will.
"You can't ask an animal if they're enjoying it, but I've seen indications in their behaviour that they do.
"We have had rodeo bulls that when you back the truck up to the ramp at the yards, they will run from the paddock into the yards, up the ramp into the truck."
The NRA finals showcases the association's best cowboys, cowgirls, juniors and livestock in events including bull ride, saddle ride, bareback ride, steer wrestling, rope and tie and barrel race.