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

Surrey Community Leader Awards winners revealed

The 16th CLA awards, presented by the Now-Leader, recognized Surrey’s un-sung heroes

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

MPs meet with Surrey council to discuss RCMP, LRT

Federal government to have quarterly meetings with Surrey

Hogg curious if a new recreation centre is needed in Grandview Heights

South Surrey-White Rock MP to host a Town Hall Meeting tonight

Surrey building that has gathered dust for 20 years is for sale again, with bids sought

Potential sale of the long-vacant 104 Avenue Centre is good news, Surrey Board of Trade CEO says

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Regulatory confusion over ‘toxic’ stink near Abbotsford school

Officials sniffing out which regulators responsible for enforcing compliance at neighbouring property

Most Read