Warning: The above video contains graphic footage.
Eight employees at Canada's largest dairy farm are being accused of viciously beating cows after undercover video was given to the BC SPCA.
The footage from non-profit group Mercy for Animals Canada "showed the employees 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,” Marcie Moriarty, the SPCA's chief prevention and enforcement officer, said in a news release on Monday.
After an investigation, the BC SPCA is recommending animal cruelty charges against the workers from Chilliwack Cattle Sales, which has more than 3,500 animals in the Fraser Valley community, about 100 kilometres east of Vancouver. The company said in a statement that the employees have been suspended.
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“We’re animal lovers, we’re not animal abusers but obviously something went wrong here. We plan to do something about this. Obviously we failed in training," owner Jeff Kooyman told CTV News.
The dairy farm supplies the Saputo brand, which owns Dairyland and Neilson Dairy, reported CTV.
“The images in the undercover video are extremely disturbing and highlight an urgent need for better standards to protect farm animals in B.C. from abuse and neglect,” Moriarty said.
In 2009, a Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle was published. But Moriarty said third-party inspections have not followed up on whether or not the requirements are being met, nor have the code's outlines been adopted into provincial law.
With files from The Canadian Press