A dairy farm in Canada is facing a raft of animal cruelty charges after an undercover video and subsequent investigation found workers abusing cows.
Now, Mercy for Animals Canada (who filmed the video) is calling on consumers to 'reject animal abuse and ditch dairy' following the investigation.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) received the undercover video in June 2014, then launched the investigation which has resulted in the charges.
The dairy farm in question, Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd. Company, is believed to be Canada's largest dairy farm.
Marcie Moriarty, the BC SPCA’s Chief Prevention and Enforcement Officer said that the video shows employees using chains, canes, rakes, their booted feet and their fists to viciously whip, punch, kick and beat the dairy cows.
"We immediately launched an investigation into the case and recommended charges against the employees identified in the video and the company."
Six of the employees have each been charged with causing distress pursuant to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act and one count of failing to care and protect an animal from distress.
Three of the same employees also face charges of taking part in the lifting by a chain, kicking, and hitting of a cow, causing it to be in distress.
Maximum sentences for each count under the PCA Act is a fine of up to $75,000, up to a two-year jail term and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals, the BCSPCA says.
Please Be Advised That The Footage In The Below Video Contains Disturbing Images.
Moriarty said the BCSPCA investigation and the public outcry over the disturbing images of abuse have led to positive changes for British Columbia dairy cattle.
The government in British Columbia last year announced that it would adopt a new regulation to improved protection of dairy cattle.
Moriarty said that it's 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.