Twenty charges were laid yesterday in the case of a Chilliwack dairy where employees were filmed abusing animals by an undercover Mercy for Animals activist in 2014.
“On June 2, 2014 the BC SPCA received an undercover video that showed employees at Chilliwack Cattle Sales using chains, canes, rakes, their booted feet and their fists to viciously whip, punch, kick and beat the dairy cows, including downed and trapped cows who could not escape the abuse,” said Marcie Moriarty, the BC SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer, in a release. “We immediately launched an investigation into the case and recommended charges against the employees identified in the video and the company.”
The footage is of the Kooyman family dairy farm, and shows workers using tractors and chains to lift cows by their necks, and beating reluctant or downer animals.
Of the twenty counts, sixteen fall under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, and four are under the Wildlife Act, in response to the treatment of a pigeon.
Penalities handed down under the PCA Act can be subject to a fine of up to $75,000, up to two years in jail, and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals. Those charged under the Wildlife Act on a first conviction could receive penalties of up to $100,000 in fines, or a term of imprisonment no greater than one year.
The accused — the farm family and seven of their employees — will appear in court on April 12.