Wednesday, March 2, 2016

B.C. dairy farm charged with animal cruelty

Jeff Kooyman - Chilliwack Cattle Sales
A total of 20 counts of animal cruelty have been laid against Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd. and seven of its employees following a B.C. SPCA investigation.

“On June 2, 2014 the B.C. 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 SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer.
“We immediately launched an investigation into the case and recommended charges against the employees identified in the video and the company.” In one instance, a cow was hoisted up by a forklift from a chain wrapped around its neck and dragged out of its pen as a worker shouts, “Leave her like that.”

The footage at the Kooyman family dairy farm was collected using secret cameras as part of an undercover operation conducted by the animal-rights activist group Mercy For Animals.

Jeff Kooyman
Company directors John Kooyman, Kenneth Kooyman, Wesley Kooyman, Jeffery Kooyman and Bradley Kooyman have each been charged in violation of the PCA Act. The same farm was in court in 2008, after six cows were injured while being transferred to slaughter. The case went to the B.C. Supreme Court, but the farm, owned by the Kooyman family, was cleared.

Last year the Canadian Food Inspection Agency charged meat processing operation Pitt Meadows Meats, also owned by the Kooymans, with selling E. coli tainted beef in 2010.
Anna Pippus, director of legal advocacy with Mercy for Animals Canada, described the abuse as sadistic and rejected Kooyman's claim that none of the owners knew about the abuse.

The farm is a major milk supplier to Dairyland, which is owned by Montreal-based dairy giant Saputo.

Lino Saputo Jr., right, chief executive of Saputo Inc., and his father chairman Lino Saputo Sr.
Lino Saputo Jr., chief executive officer of Montreal-based Saputo and the founder’s son, said he was in bed watching CBC news last June when it aired the undercover footage. “To be honest, I was shaken,” Mr. Saputo said. “And it was something that I never want to see again.”