National animal welfare group condemns ‘shocking images’ at Abbotsford dairy farm – Surrey Now-Leader


A national animal welfare organization denounces suspicions of animal abuse at an Abbotsford dairy farm and calls for more monitoring in the industry.

Humane Canada, the federation of SPCAs and humanitarian societies, said in a press release that it was outraged by the news released last week about Cedar Valley Farms. He urges government and industry to take action – such as third-party verification systems – to protect animals on commercial farms.

Humane Canada CEO Barbara Cartwright said the video provided to Toronto-based Animal Justice – and posted on their website – shows “shocking footage” of dairy cows being severely beaten, dragged and kicked. Abbotsford Farm.

“This new report of suspected animal abuse at another British Columbia dairy farm is just the next in a long line of evidence that farm animals are suffering as industry and government refuse to act, ”she said.

Cartwright said that since 2012, nearly 20 cases of suspected animal abuse have been reported on independent farms across the country.

She said the video evidence describes everything from appalling conditions and shoddy practices to criminal violations resulting in animal cruelty convictions.

But Cartwright said that instead of having “adequate oversight” to protect farm animals, government and industry are moving towards anti-whistleblower legislation (known as “ag-gag” laws ) to prevent images from showing.

She said four provinces have passed anti-gag laws since 2019: Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Ontario and Alberta.

“The science is extremely clear that farm animals are capable of cognitive thought, emotion, pain and suffering. They don’t have the ability to consent to or control their treatment by humans, which makes them very vulnerable to abuse, ”Cartwright said.

“However, the welfare of animals on farms is not regulated in Canada and is left to an industry that does not unilaterally recognize the sensitivity of the animals in its care.”

The BC Dairy Association also denounced the actions depicted in the video footage. In a statement released Friday, November 5, board chairman and dairy farmer Holger Schwichtenberg said he did not know of any farmer who would accept this kind of behavior.

“The treatment of the animals shown in the video is abuse. It is extremely upsetting to watch, ”he said. “We have a strict set of regulations for the care of animals on dairy farms, and that far exceeds our expectations. “

Schwichtenberg said the treatment in the video “clearly violates” the National Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle, which covers all aspects of the feeding, handling and housing of dairy cattle.

“Every dairy farmer in British Columbia knows this; there are no excuses. The farm must be held accountable, ”he said.

It was reported on October 27 that the BC Milk Marketing Board had suspended Cedar Valley Farms’ license based on information provided by the SPCA and a subsequent inspection of the farm.

The BC SPCA issued a separate press release, saying it had received video footage that “appears to represent very serious cases of animal abuse” at Abbotsford East Farm, located on the Interprovincial Highway.

The SPCA said some of the footage appeared to violate the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act and potentially the Criminal Code of Canada.

Animal Justice says on its website that the video footage was sent to them anonymously and that they turned it over to the BC SPCA.

The investigation is continuing.

Cedar Valley Farms is a sole proprietorship owned by Cedarwal Farms. The two – along with Chilliwack Cattle Sales and the BC Milk Marketing Board – were named in a 2017 civil lawsuit from dairy giant Saputo over contaminated milk shipments.

Chilliwack Cattle Sales was also the subject of another animal cruelty case. The company and a manager pleaded guilty to mistreating their cattle and were fined a total of $ 300,000 in December 2016.

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