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3 more workers at Chilliwack cattle farm plead guilty to animal cruelty
Chilliwack Cattle Sales workers hit a cow in this undercover video shot by Mercy for Animals Canada in May 2014.
Three more of the men accused in an animal cruelty case involving Canada’s largest dairy farm have pleaded guilty.
Cody Larson, Brad Genereux and Lloyd Blackwell were among seven employees at Chilliwack Cattle Sales charged after activist group Mercy for Animals released hidden camera footage of cows being abused at the facility.
All three entered guilty pleas Thursday. Crown is seeking prohibitions on owning or working around animals for each of them, and short jail terms for Larson and Genereux.
The last of the accused, Jonathan Talbot, is scheduled to appear in court on June 27.
Mercy for Animals' undercover video, which was captured in 2014, appears to show workers punching and kicking cows, hitting them with canes and ripping out the hair from their tails. One cow was lifted by a chain around her neck using a tractor. An employee can also be seen attaching milking equipment to the testicles of bulls at the farm.
In some of the footage, bystanders can be seen and heard cheering in the background without intervening.
The video led to an investigation by the BC SPCA that resulted in 20 animal cruelty charges against the company and seven of its employees.
The guilty pleas come less than a month after three other men who worked at Chilliwack Cattles Sales were handed jail time in connection with the same investigation. Chris Vandyke and Jamie Visser were sentenced to 60 days in jail and three-year ban on owning animals. Travis Keefer was sentenced to seven days in jail plus a one-year ban on owning animals.
All three men had pleaded guilty in April to two counts under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and one count under the Wildlife Act.
The company itself pleaded guilty late last year to three counts of causing an animal to continue to be in distress.
Kenneth Kooyman, the company’s president, pleaded guilty to three charges of animal cruelty. His brother Wesley, the farm’s director, pleaded guilty to one charge. They were fined more than $300,000.