TORONTO, July 8, 2015 /CNW/ - Earlier today, BC Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick announced that the province will officially incorporate the National Dairy Code of Practice into the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in an effort to improve the welfare of dairy cows. The Dairy Code of Practice—created by the National Farm Animal Care Council—sets forth certain minimum, generally accepted standards of care to ensure the humane handling and treatment of Canada's dairy cows.
Previously, the Dairy Code of Practice was a non-binding set of guidelines that BC's dairy farmers were not required to follow. Now that the Dairy Code of Practice has been incorporated into BC's provincial animal welfare regulations, violations of any of the Code's provisions are punishable by fines of up to $75,000 and imprisonment for up to 2 years.
Today's announcement follows Mercy For Animals' release of an undercover investigation at Chilliwack Cattle Sales in Chilliwack, BC—the largest dairy factory farm in the country—which documented workers beating, kicking, and punching animals, using chains and tractors to hoist cows into the air, poking and squeezing festering wounds, and punching bulls in the testicles.
The following statement can be attributed to Nathan Runkle, Mercy For Animals' President:
Today's announcement marks important progress in the protection of cows who are all too often abused on dairy factory farms across British Columbia. Mercy For Animals praises Minister Letnick for giving the Dairy Code of Practice the force of law in British Columbia. We hope this meaningful action inspires other provinces to follow suit in increasing the legal protections granted to farm animals across Canada.
Mercy For Animals' investigation uncovered sadistic and malicious animal abuse at Chilliwack Cattle Sales and thereby exposed the glaring deficiencies in BC's farm animal protection laws. Minister Letnick's announcement is an important step forward in deterring this horrific cruelty on dairy farms. Now we must work toward providing greater governmental oversight of Canadian dairy factory farms to ensure that these laws are actually followed and enforced.
We continue to urge Crown prosecutors to hold Chilliwack Cattle Sales criminally accountable for their intentional and malicious acts of animal cruelty. Individuals who beat, kick, punch and otherwise torture animals must be punished. In a civilized society, it is our moral obligation to prevent cruelty to all animals, including those used for food.
To view the hidden-camera video, please visit CanadaDairy.MercyForAnimals.org
SOURCE Mercy For Animals Canada
For further information: Krista Osborne: 416-666-3093