Earlier today, three Chilliwack Cattle Sales workers were convicted of violating the British Columbia Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Travis Keefer, Chris Vandyke, and Jamie Visser pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges and will be sentenced in early May.
Today’s convictions were prompted by a Mercy For Animals undercover investigation at Chilliwack Cattle Sales, the largest dairy factory farm in Canada. Hidden-camera footage reveals workers viciously kicking, punching, and beating cows with chains, metal pipes, canes, and rakes; and gleefully poking and squeezing festering wounds of cows suffering from oozing infections and gruesome injuries.
Watch the footage that led to these convictions here:
MFA’s investigation led to a total of 20 animal cruelty charges against the factory farm, its owners, and its workers. Today’s convictions follow a historic victory for farmed animals in Canada, stemming from the same investigation. In December, Chilliwack Cattle Sales and one of its owners were convicted of animal cruelty and ordered to pay fines of almost $350,000. Four workers’ cases are still pending, with a trial date set for May of this year.
According to reports obtained through freedom of information requests, the BC Milk Marketing Board found that more than 25 percent of British Columbia’s dairy farms had failed to comply with the provincial code of practice for animal welfare over an 18-month period. Inspection reports showed cows crammed together, cows unable to walk, cows lying on concrete, and cows whose tails were accidentally torn off by machinery. Calves were branded and dehorned without medication. Many farms were unable to produce any manual outlining their management practices.
MFA’s investigation prompted British Columbia’s agricultural minister Norm Letnick to amend the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to incorporate the Dairy Code of Practice, which outlines minimum guidelines for the treatment and welfare of cows on Canada’s dairies. MFA is calling on all provinces to incorporate the Dairy Code of Practice into their provincial animal cruelty legislation to require the dairy industry to follow basic minimum standards for animal welfare.
Although these convictions send a strong message to the dairy industry that animal abuse will not be tolerated, ultimately, the best thing that we can do to protect cows and all animals from needless suffering and violence is to choose a healthy and humane vegan diet. Visit ChooseVeg.com for ideas on how to go dairy-free!