An American animal charity has expressed anger at footage filmed of rodeo horses receiving electric shocks as they are released to perform.

Representatives of the animal rights group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) said the footage captured during a 10-day show hosted by Reno Rodeo in Nevada, USA (14-23 June), shows horses receiving so-called “hot-shots” just before they leave the chutes for competition.

A spokesman for the charity said: “These animals have to be tortured to get them to perform, and that is animal cruelty pure and simple.”

After watching the video, rodeo spokesman Steve Schroeder acknowledged that some of their bucking horses were shocked.

It is true, that guy is shocking horses, and we’re not OK with that,” he said.

Under the rules of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), giving electric shocks is permitted only to persuade a horse out of the chute.

But Mr Schroeder said that the man, who worked for the livestock contractor Big Bend/Flying Five Rodeo Co, would no longer be allowed at the rodeo.

Mr Schroeder pointed out that only two of SHARKS’ video clips contained incriminating footage.