A slew of dairy farm workers and their bosses will appear in a Chilliwack court room April 12th to face twenty counts of animal cruelty.
It comes almost two years after the shocking undercover video, released by animal rights group Mercy for Animals.
Spokesperson Krista Hiddema says it documented the violent abuse of dairy cows at Chilliwack Cattle Sales.
“Workers were viciously kicking, punching, beating and hitting cows in the face and in their bodies with chains. There were sick and injured cows that were suffering from open wounds and oozing infections.”
“There were workers that were using trains and trackters to lift sick and injured cows by their necks, as well as workers that were poking and squeezing festering wounds, ripping clumps of hair out of cows tails, and punching bulls in the testicles.”
BC SPCA spokeswoman Marcy Moriarty says this is a rare case.
“For the first I believe in British Columbia a company and its directors are being held accountable, are being charged, in association with these acts on this farm.”
She says six employees, Travis Keefer, Jonathan Talbot, Jamie Visser, Chris Vandyke, Cody Larson, and Brad Genereux are each charged with causing distress to an animal and failing to care for and protect an animal under the Protection of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Vandyke, Keefer, and Visser, along with a seventh person, Lloyd Blackwell, face an additional two charges related to lifting a cow by a chain and kicking and hitting the animal.
Four of the employees also face a charge under the wildlife act for allegedly molesting a pigeon.
The accused could be slapped with a fine of up to $75,000, up to a two-year jail term and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals.
The case garnered national attention and led to further protections of dairy cattle in BC.