Allegations about use of a handheld cattle prod at a bullriding event were refuted this week by Chilliwack Rodeo Association, in the wake of Vancouver Humane Society complaints to the Chilliwack Fair board and photos to the media. (Submitted)

Cattle prod use at B.C. bullriding event refuted by rodeo rep

Rodeo contractors and handlers take pride in care and welfare of the animals, CRA says

The Chilliwack Rodeo Association is refuting allegations by Vancouver Humane Society that an electronic cattle prod was used last weekend to make an animal perform.

“This is untrue,” stated CRA president Len Blackstock.

Photos taken by VHS volunteers of a stock contractor and sent to the media appeared to show an electronic device used on a bull during the bullriding competition at the Chilliwack Fair.

READ MORE: Cattle prod complaints

That is in dispute now.

“The handheld device is there for the safety of the animal and rider and was in his hand ready in case needed for an emergency,” said Blackstock.

Use of cattle prods on livestock is prohibited in the arena during rodeo performances, under B.C. Rodeo Association rules.

The only exception is for “chute stalling” animals, with contestant and contractor approval, and use of the device is only permitted by a qualified member.

“I feel it is necessary for me as President, and on behalf of the Chilliwack Rodeo Association to respond to the allegations about a hand-held device being used to make the animals perform,” Blackstock said.

That would be against the rules, he underlined, and if violated, fines could be issued.

He emphasized that the CRA proudly celebrated 30 years at the Chilliwack Fair and Exhibition in 2018 with huge community support. They attracted 35 local sponsors, and more than 6,000 spectators over three days of rodeo events.

“We all take pride in operating a quality performance, where animal welfare and safety are a top priority,” Blackstock said. “Once again, there was no injury to any of the stock.”

A veterinarian was available as usual during the rodeo, but not called into service.

“The Chilliwack Rodeo doesn’t condone mistreatment of the stock at our rodeo. The animals’ welfare is a major concern.”

READ MORE: Not a question of cruelty say rodeo reps

The VHS initiated a back and forth communication with the Chilliwack Fair last year over some rodeo practices.

The focus that rodeo officials already have on conditions and treatment of livestock led to banning certain BCRA members from competing in the past, and adopting Calgary rules for tie-down roping and steer wrestling.

“With that in mind, the CRA will review the use of HotShots at our next meeting and look at what other rodeos are doing,” Blackstock said. “If we vote for them to be banned it will be written in our 2019 contract.”

There are also plans to continue to modify and improve the rules to continually better the sport of rodeo.

“We are hopeful that with these continued changes and through education and humane practices, that the history of rodeo and the cowboys’ skill can be enjoyed by all.”


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Construction continues on Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s $51M trail

Path through Park Reserve will link Tofino and Ucluelet.

Tofino graduate credits family and community after receiving $40K scholarship

“I would not be here and I would not be the person I am without my community.”

Michael Kaehn’s new book celebrates Hot Springs Cove’s history

Slideshows coming to Ahousaht, Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Alberni and Shawnigan Lake in September.

Two southern resident orcas missing as experts fear for the population

Centre for Whale Research says one whale each is missing from the J and K pods

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Nine kittens and cats rescued after being locked in bins in northern B.C.: SPCA

SPCA says cats were starving, and matted with feces and urine

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

U.S. tug firm to be sentenced for 2016 spill in B.C. First Nation’s territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

Most Read