Four More Chilliwack Cattle Sales Workers to Be Convicted of Malicious Animal Abuse After Investigation by Mercy For Animals; Group Seeks Stronger Legal Protections for Animals
VANCOUVER, May 29, 2017 /CNW/ - Earlier today, four more workers of Chilliwack Cattle Sales—the largest dairy factory farm in Canada— entered intentions to plead guilty to violating the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act on what was scheduled to be the first of a 12-day criminal trial. Lloyd Blackwell, Brad Genereux, Cody Larson, and Jonathan Talbot will admit that they viciously kicked, punched, and beat cows, and used chains and tractors to lift sick and injured cows by their necks. Talbot also entered an intent to plead guilty to violating the Wildlife Act for molesting a bird. The Chilliwack Provincial Law Court plans to convict and sentence Larson on June 8, 2017 and convict and sentence Blackwell, Genereux, and Talbot on June 14 and 15, 2017.
These intentions to plead guilty follow a hidden-camera exposé by Mercy For Animals, an international farmed animal protection organization. Earlier this month, after guilty pleas stemming from the same animal cruelty investigation, the Honorable Justice Gary Cohen sentenced three former Chilliwack Cattle Sales workers to a total of 127 days in jail and prohibited them from having custody or control of any animal for a total of seven years. This marked the first time in Canadian history that former factory farm workers had been sentenced to jail for malicious animal abuse exposed through an undercover investigation by an animal protection organization. In December 2016, also stemming from this investigation, Chilliwack Cattle Sales and one of its owners were convicted of animal cruelty and ordered to pay fines totaling almost $350,000.
Mercy For Animals praises the BC SPCA and the Crown for pursuing justice in this important matter.
The cruelty exposed through Mercy For Animals' Chilliwack Cattle Sales investigation prompted BC agricultural minister Norm Letnick to amend the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to incorporate the Dairy Code of Practice. Mercy For Animals is calling on all provinces to incorporate the Dairy Code of Practice into their provincial animal cruelty legislation. Giving the Dairy Code of Practice the force of law will require the dairy industry to follow basic minimum standards for animal welfare.
"This case shows that Canadians will not turn a blind eye to the heartbreaking cruelty that runs rampant in factory farms," said Krista Hiddema, Mercy For Animals' vice president for Canada. "Although these animal abusers were held accountable for their actions, we need stronger laws and better industry oversight. Ultimately, the best way to address animal cruelty is to prevent it. Cruelty and neglect will plague the industry until the Dairy Code of Practice is given the force of law in every Canadian province."
To view the undercover video that led to today's convictions, visit CanadaDairy.MercyForAnimals.org.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals
For further information: Krista Hiddema: 416-666-3093