Chilliwack Rodeo Association Responds To Abuse Allegations (Photos)

Chilliwack – Every year like clockwork, we have the rodeo season and right on time, the protests rise up, and this year’s rodeo at the recent Chilliwack Fair was no exception.

Published photos showing a man holding what appears to be an electric prod ( also known as a “hot shot”) at the Chilliwack Fair rodeo raised concerns from the Vancouver Humane Society.

They were taken by a photographer working for the humane society.

VHS stated on their website: Photos taken at the Fair last weekend show an electric prod, which appears to be a device known as a “Hot-Shot”, was in use at the bull-riding event.  The Hot-Shot generates 4500 volts. VHS will be making a formal complaint to the Chilliwack Fair’s management, asking why this device was in use at the rodeo.

The complete set of photos from the Vancouver Humane Society can be found here.

Vancouver Humane Society

Vancouver Humane Society

The Chilliwack Rodeo Association has issued a response to those allegations and photos:

August 20, 2018 

To Whom This May Concern: 

In regards to the photo posted by VHS within Social Media of the stock contractor allegedly holding and using a “hot shot” at the Bull Chutes. 

I feel it is necessary for me, as President and on behalf of the committee of the Chilliwack Rodeo Association, to respond to the allegations of the use of a hand held device being used to make the animals perform for a crowd. “This is untrue”, the device that is seen in the contractors hand is not to be used in the arena during a performance as per B.C. RODEO ASSOCIATION (BCRA) Rules. The BCRA rule states: The only exception shall be known chute staling animal only with contestants and contractors approval and shall only be administered by a qualified member. The hand held device is there for the safety of the animal and rider and was in his hand to be ready in case needed for an emergency. This is in the rules and if violated fines will be issued. 

The Chilliwack Rodeo Association (CRA) celebrated 30 years at the Chilliwack Fair and Exhibition. We all take pride in operating a quality performance, where animal welfare and safety are a top priority. Once again, there was no injury to any of the stock. A veterinarian was available but not needed. 

The Chilliwack Rodeo (CRA) doesn’t condone mistreatment of the stock at our rodeo. The animals’ welfare is a major concern. We have previously banned BCRA members from attending and competing at our rodeo for – mistreatment of the stock. 

CRA follows all BCRA rules and has added rules of our own for the concern of the stock. We have adopted Calgary’s rules for both Tie Down Roping and Steer Wrestling. 

We have over 35 local sponsors with more than 6000 spectators over the 3 days at the rodeo. This year we collected over 2600 signatures over a 2 week period to support the Chilliwack Fair’s right to host a rodeo. At the fair 1681 signatures were collected, over23% were from the lower Fraser Valley (Langley, Vancouver, Coquitlam). 

Contractors, Ranchers and Rodeo Associations take pride in the care and welfare of their stock with training, appropriate breeding programs and qualified handlers. I cannot state enough, that the CRA doesn’t condone mistreatment of stock at our rodeo and will continue to improve and modify the rules to better the sport of rodeo. With that in mind, the CRA will review the use of “hot shots” at our next meeting and look at what other rodeos are doing. If we vote for them to be banned it will be written in our 2019 contract. 

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

Board of Directors, 

Chilliwack Rodeo Association 

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