The Vancouver Humane Society is complaining that electronic prods were used at last weekend’s 30th annual rodeo at the Chilliwack Fair.
“No animal should be exposed to electric shocks just to make them perform for a crowd,” said VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker in a news release.
A complaint about the alleged use of this hand-held device on bulls at the rodeo is forthcoming, he said.
“Rodeo animals already suffer from being roped, spurred and goaded into performing,” Fricker said. “Now they have to endure electric shocks as well?”
Photos of what appears to be a “Hot-Shot” or similar electronic cattle prod, were taken as they were being used during the bull-riding event at the Chilliwack Fair.
Chilliwack and District Agricultural Society will be looking into this allegation, said president Cathy Oss in an email on Thursday, but added that no official complaint had yet been received from VHS.
“The Chilliwack Fair has not received any communication from the Vancouver Humane Society, and was unaware of the allegations,” Oss said. “We do not know the specific BCRA rules about use of this device.”
Electric prods should only be used to assist with the “movement” of cattle when animal/human safety is at risk, or “as a last resort” when humane alternatives have failed, and only when they have a “clear path to move,” according to the National Farm Animal Care Council code of practice.
In other words, they shouldn’t be used when the animal is loaded in a closed chute.
The Chilliwack Rodeo Association is contracted every year by the Fair organizers to host the hugely popular rodeo event, said the president of the Ag Society.
“The Chilliwack Rodeo Association has an excellent safety record and once again are happy to report that there were no injuries, either human or animal, at the 2018 Rodeo,” Oss said.