Company, Owner, and Workers Indicate Guilty Pleas to Animal Cruelty Charges After Hidden-Camera Footage Shows Egregious Abuse; Mercy For Animals Seeks Stronger Legal Protections for Farmed Animals
VANCOUVER, Oct. 4, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Earlier today, counsel for Chilliwack Cattle Sales, one of its owners, and three of its employees stated in court that they will be pleading guilty to charges of animal cruelty at the next hearing on December 15. These prosecutions follow a Mercy For Animals undercover investigation showing dairy workers viciously kicking, punching, and beating animals with chains, metal pipes, canes, and rakes; sick and injured cows suffering from oozing infections and gruesome injuries; and workers gleefully poking and squeezing festering wounds, ripping clumps of hair out of cows' sensitive tails, and punching bulls in the testicles.
Chilliwack Cattle Sales, Canada's largest dairy factory farm, and one if its owners will be convicted of violating the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. In addition, workers Travis Keefer, Jamie Visser, and Chris Vandyke will also be convicted. Although the terms of sentencing have not been announced, Mercy For Animals urges the Chilliwack Law Court to sentence these animal abusers to the fullest extent of the law.
Krista Hiddema, MFA's vice president, Canada, will speak about this groundbreaking case at a press conference this afternoon.
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016,
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Century Plaza Hotel & Spa (Salon A), 1015 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC.
Mercy For Animals praises the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Crown for pursuing justice for these abused and tormented animals.
The investigation prompted BC agricultural minister Norm Letnick to amend the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to incorporate the Dairy Code of Practice. The Dairy Code of Practice outlines minimum guidelines concerning the treatment and welfare of Canada's dairy cows. According to reports obtained through freedom of information requests, the BC Milk Marketing Board recently found that more than 25 percent of BC dairy farms failed to comply with the provincial Code of Practice for animal welfare over an 18-month period. Inspection reports showed issues including overcrowding, lame or soiled cattle, tails accidentally torn off by machinery, branding and dehorning of calves without pain medication, cows lying on concrete, and failure to produce a manual outlining management practices on individual farms.
Mercy For Animals is calling on all provinces, including BC, to give the Dairy Code of Practice the force of law in their provincial animal cruelty legislation. Giving the code the force of law will make these important animal welfare guidelines requirements and help ensure that dairy cows receive a basic level of care and humane handling.
"Justice is finally being served for these abused and exploited animals," said Mercy For Animals' president, Nathan Runkle. "This case graphically reveals the horrific cruelty and extreme neglect that dairy cows suffer on Canadian factory farms. The dairy industry has proven that it is incapable of self-regulation. Until the Dairy Code of Practice is given the force of law in every province, cruelty and neglect will continue to run rampant in Canada's dairy farms."
To view the undercover video, visit CanadaDairy.MercyForAnimals.org.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals
For further information: Krista Hiddema: 416-666-3093; Vandhana Bala: 312-909-6051