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)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Jasper after he was reunited with his owners Mary and Brent Hummel. Photo: Steve Smith
New children’s book features lost Castlegar dog who swam the Columbia multiple times

Brent and Mary Hummel and Jasper tell their dramatic story

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read