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Calgary Stampede TV coverage challenged

CALGARY, Alberta, July 1 (UPI) -- The Humane Society of Canada has petitioned the federal broadcast regulator to disallow TV coverage of the 10-day Calgary Stampede rodeo events.

In its request to the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission, the society claims the event breaks federal law by glamorizing violence against animals, the Canwest News Service reported.

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The move came as the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. announced it was allotting a record 140 hours of televised coverage of the event, which runs July 3-12, the report said.

The annual event began in the Alberta city in 1912 and bills itself as the world's largest outdoor rodeo.

Stampede spokesman Doug Fraser told Canwest organizers are working with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Calgary Humane Society to uphold the "highest standard of animal care" in rodeo.

However, Humane Society of Canada head Michael O'Sullivan called the various events a "brutal violent spectacle" that shouldn't be allowed to air on publicly funded television.

"Our fascination with the Old West makes these animals pay a terrible price," he said.

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