Earlier today, counsel for Chilliwack Cattle Sales, one of the company’s owners, and three of its employees stated in court that they would plead guilty to charges of animal cruelty at the next hearing on December 15.
These prosecutions follow a Mercy For Animals undercover investigation revealing 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 of its owners intend to plead guilty of violating the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Three workers intend to do the same. Although the terms of sentencing have not been announced, MFA urges the Chilliwack Law Court to sentence these animal abusers to the fullest extent of the law.
Watch the undercover footage leading to these guilty pleas here:
The investigation prompted Norm Letnick, British Columbia’s agricultural minister, 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 cows on Canada’s dairy farms.
According to reports obtained through freedom of information requests, the BC Milk Marketing Board recently found that more than 25 percent of British Columbian dairy farms failed to comply with the provincial code of practice for animal welfare over an 18-month period. Inspection reports showed serious 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.
This case graphically illustrates the horrific cruelty and extreme neglect that cows suffer on Canada’s factory dairy farms. The dairy industry has proven that it is incapable of self-regulation. MFA is calling on all provinces, including British Columbia, 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 cows receive a basic level of care and humane handling.
Although these prosecutions are a step in the right direction, the best way to prevent the needless suffering of cows and all farmed animals is to choose healthy and humane alternatives to meat, eggs, and dairy products.
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