Another worker pleads guilty in B.C. dairy farm cruelty case
Chilliwack Cattle Sales workers hit a cow in this undercover video shot by Mercy for Animals Canada in May 2014.
A seventh worker has pleaded guilty to charges filed following an animal cruelty investigation at Canada's largest dairy farm.
On Wednesday, Jonathan Talbot pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the provincial Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for causing distress to animals and failure to care for or protect animals, both relating to the cattle.
He also pleaded guilty to one count under the BC Wildlife Act of "molestation of a pigeon."
The Chilliwack Cattle Sales employee will return to court for sentencing at the end of the month. A joint submission suggested Talbot receive a 35-day jail sentence and two-year ban on owning or having custody or control of large animals.
The charges Talbot faced stem from a hidden camera investigation conducted by activist group Mercy for Animals in 2014. The video appears to show workers punching and kicking cows, hitting them with canes and ripping hair out of their tails. One cow was lifted by a chain around its neck using a tractor.
Another video shows an employee 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.
Talbot's plea came nearly two months after guilty pleas from employees Cody Larson, Brad Genereux and Lloyd Blackwell.
Larson was sentenced to 20 days in jail, given a $4,000 fine and a one-year prohibition on having custody or control of an animal. Blackwell received no jail time, but was given a $7,000 fine and a three-year animal ban.
Genereux is scheduled to appear in court again on Oct. 4.
Three other workers, Travis Keefer, Chris Vandyke and Jamie Visser, pleaded guilty in April.
Visser and Vandyke were given 60-day jail sentences and three year prohibitions on having custody or control of an animal, and are due back in court Nov. 14 for cross-appeal.
Keefer was sentenced to a week in jail and a one-year animal ban.
The company and one of its directors also pleaded guilty to charges related to the case in December.