Covert video shows dairy cows being attacked with chains and rakes, with blood oozing from wounds while milked
(NaturalNews) The co-owner of Canada’s biggest dairy operation has said that eight of the company’s employees were suspended after an animal rights group released a video showing cows being viciously beaten and kicked in the head repeatedly at the farm in British Columbia.
According to Britain’s Independent newspaper, the video footage was turned over to the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) by the group Mercy for Animals Canada appears to show employees from Chilliwack Cattle Sales smacking, kicking and hitting cows with chains, rakes and canes.
In addition, the bloody, pus-filled wounds the cows have endured from the apparent maltreatment are also shown. The graphic video can be seen here.
‘Images are extremely disturbing’
BCSPCA officers, accompanied by respected cattle expert Dr. James Reynolds, conducted an inspection of the property in early June as part of an ongoing investigation into how animals are being kept at the farm.
“The images in the undercover video are extremely disturbing and highlight an urgent need for better standards to protect farm animals in B.C. [British Columbia] from abuse and neglect,” said Marcie Moriarty, the BCSPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer.
Moriarty went onto explain that while a Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle was released in 2009, its requirements have yet to be verified on farms via third-party inspections or adopted in law by the province of British Columbia.
“It is important that producers have clear expectations around standards of care for farm animals and that there is a system in place to monitor and enforce these standards,” she said.
The company is cooperating with the investigation, Moriarty confirmed, but she added that the BCSPCA believes that criminal charges regarding the treatment of the dairy cows should be leveled against the eight former employees.
Jeff Kooyman, one of farm’s co-owners, told CBC News that his family was extremely upset by the allegations and had no idea that animals were being treated poorly by the employees, who worked on night shifts.
‘Obviously we failed’
“The guys were going crazy. I couldn’t imagine how people could do that to animals,” said Kooyman, adding the eight employees were fired in light of the footage.
“Obviously we failed. Our employees have failed and we are going to be putting in a new training program to ensure that this never happens again. This is a family farm and this is not what we’re all about,” Kooyman added.
“Maybe I failed to instill the passion and love that we have into our employees,” he said.
Kooyman also told CBC that while some of the videotaped employees had been with the farm operation for a couple of years, others were fairly new.
British Columbia Dairy Association chairman Dave Taylor said his group was “deeply concerned and saddened” by the alleged incidents at the Chilliwack Farm.
“We have been working in close co-operation with the BCSPCA as this investigation has developed and outright condemn any mistreatment of animals in our industry. The BCSPCA has done an excellent job in this investigation thus far and we intend to fully assist in any way necessary,” he said.
In response to the incident, the CBC reported that some groups were considering launching a boycott of Chilliwack farm products.
“The change.org petition was launched by Mercy for Animals Canada after it released undercover video last week showing workers physically abusing cows at Chilliwack Cattle Sales, which describes itself as Canada’s largest dairy farm and supplies brands including Saputo and Dairyland,” CBC reported.