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

Island pickleball players perfectly prepared

Top-notch action at Fuller Lake Park in singles, doubles and mixed doubles

Dormant Chemainus Foods building soon to be revived

Market expected to bring new life to the downtown core

Ladysmith Arts Council leads effort to establish Vancouver Island as an arts powerhouse

Terry O’Reilly will be the keynote speaker during an interactive live webcast on August 8 at 6pm

Oyster Bay Microtel solidifies reputation as a Vancouver Island destination

The Microtel is focused on continuing to build their reputation over the summer

Charity the name of the game for Crofton slo-pitch tournament participants

Crofton Fire Department event benefits three recipients

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Anglican Church to review governance structure after same-sex marriage change fails

Some say the current system to change doctrine gives too much voting power to a smaller class of bishops

B.C. adding fast-charge stations for electric highway trips

Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Kootenay stations ready for use

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

Most Read