Photo of calf roping taken during the 2016 Chilliwack Rodeo. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)

Photo of calf roping taken during the 2016 Chilliwack Rodeo. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)

UPDATE: Chilliwack rodeo to continue tie-down roping and steer wrestling

Vancouver Humane Society says rules changes make no significant difference to animal welfare

Tie-down roping and steer wrestling will be part of the 2018 rodeo at the Chilliwack Fair, but some rules will change.

The Chilliwack Fair Board voted unanimously to make the changes, which come in response to a campaign by the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) to ban what the society called “inhumane” events.

The VHS responded Monday saying its campaign against the Chilliwack rodeo will continue as the rule changes do nothing to reduce animal stress.

READ: Animal activists target tie-down roping, steer wrestling at Chilliwack Fair

The Fair’s board of directors reviewed the two events in response to the VHS campaign to see if modifications could be made to reduce animal stress while still remaining a sanctioned rodeo. The board voted on Sept. 14 unanimously to make the changes.

“The Board conducted a thorough review of possible rule changes and industry best practices and consulted all stakeholders,” said Cathy Oss, President of the Chilliwack Agricultural Society. “They recognized that many sporting events change and evolve as techniques are refined and new information comes to light.”

For tie-down roping, if the calf is jerked off all four feet and its body touches the ground prior to the roper reaching the calf, the roper will be disqualified. A second change is that the six-second rule will not be in effect.

“Once time is called for and the contestant has taken one step towards his horse and maintains a forward motion towards his horse, a three second time will start,” the board explained in a press release issued Monday. “The calf must remain tied for the three seconds. The legal tie will include at least one wrap around any three legs and a half hitch. The tie must hold and the legs remained crossed until time is taken by the flag judge.”

As for steer wrestling, an automatic “no-time” will be given to a contestant if a steer “dog falls,” and a steer must be on its feet before being rolled to the ground.

“As always, the well-being of animals in our care is of top priority,” Oss said. “We are confident that we have the support of our community and our sponsors, and we know that our new facility combined with the rule modifications will ensure the safety and continued well-being of the animals in our care.”

But the VHS responded Monday saying the campaign against the Chilliwack Fair rodeo will continue.

“The rule changes will make no significant difference to animal welfare at the rodeo,” VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker said. “Terrified calves will still be roped and thrown to the ground and steers will still have their necks twisted until they are forced off their feet.”

Fricker said the changes do nothing to reduce fear, stress and pain for the sake of entertainment.

“We will redouble our efforts [at the 2018 Fair] to bring public attention to the rodeo and we will raise concerns about additional events such as team-roping,” Fricker said.

The Board said the British Columbia Rodeo Association (BCRA) was “gracious enough” to accept the rule changes to the 2017 Chilliwack Rodeo at the last minute.

The issue came up in a July 26 Vancouver Humane Society press release, in which spokesperson Peter Fricker said the two events tormented animals for crowd amusement, something that should be unacceptable in this day and age.

“Terrified calves, only three months old, are chased, roped to a sudden halt, picked up and thrown to the ground before being tied up and steers have their necks twisted until the are literally bent to the ground,” Fricker said.

In response to the VHS campaign in July, the BCRA said it is not true that the animals are terrified and the animals are well-taken care of.

READ: B.C. Rodeo Association responds to campaign against Chilliwack Fair

The Board said further that the event modifications are in addition to safety measures already taken by the Chilliwack Agricultural Society to ensure animal safety every year.

“Organizers ensure animals are comfortable and well cared for with suitable enclosures and good quality feed and fresh water. Care takers will continue to be on site 24/7 and a veterinarian will continue to be available to ensure the wellbeing of all animals participating in the rodeo.”


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@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

Dan Coulter, on screen in centre, is sworn in as the Chilliwack MLA by Premier John Horgan on Nov. 24, 2020. (Screenshot)
Chilliwack school trustee officially steps down to assume MLA role

The loss of Dan Coulter at the board table will trigger a byelection in Chilliwack

Justin Louis of Chilliwack, seen here on Nov. 21, 2020 beside a mural of his wife Inez Louis, is one of the designers who will be featured on Nov. 26 as part of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Indigenous Chilliwack fashion designer steps onto national stage

Justin Louis with Section 35 clothing will present his collection at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
New outbreak at Chilliwack care home, while Agassiz care home outbreak over

‘Critically important’ for residents to get tested immediately if symptoms develop, says Fraser Health

The Abbotsford Pilots and all other junior teams in B.C. have been paused from competition after new restrictions put in place to battle the spread of COVID-19.
Chilliwack Jets, PJHL grounded after new restrictions

Games in the junior B league won’t played until after Dec. 7 at the earliest

Kelli Paddon, on screen in centre, is sworn in as the Chilliwack-Kent MLA by Premier John Horgan on Nov. 24, 2020. (Screenshot)
Coulter and Paddon sworn in as newly minted MLAs for Chilliwack, Chilliwack-Kent

NDP Premier John Horgan swears in 57 new MLAs, a majority of which are women

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

There are 32 active outbreaks in seniors' homes in the Fraser Health region.
MAP: See the locations of 32 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Fraser Health seniors’ homes

There are 32 active outbreaks in assisted-living, long-term care homes and seniors’ rental buildings

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Most Read