Chilliwack dairy farm to plead guilty to animal abuse, lawyer says
Published Tuesday, October 4, 2016 11:38AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 4, 2016 7:02PM PDT
Chilliwack Cattle Sales and one of its directors intend to plead guilty to animal abuse, their lawyer said Tuesday.
The news comes more than two years after activists from Mercy for Animals conducted an undercover sting at the farm, capturing video of what members call "egregious" treatment of dairy cows.
A subsequent investigation by the BC SPCA led to 20 animal cruelty charges against the farm and seven of its employees.
Chilliwack Cattle Sales and the director intend to plead guilty to one count at a court date in December, according to their lawyer. It's not clear which of the directors will be pleading, or on which charge.
A lawyer said three of the farm's workers, Chris Van Dyke, Travis Keefer and Jamie Visser, also intend to enter guilty pleas.
Mercy for Animal issued a statement Tuesday describing the case as "groundbreaking," and calling for anyone convicted in the case to be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law.
The footage captured at Chilliwack Cattle Sales in May 2014 shows workers "viciously kicking, punching, and beating animals with chains, metal pipes, canes, and rakes," according to the activist group, as well as “squeezing festering wounds, ripping clumps of hair out of cows’ sensitive tails, and punching bulls in the testicles."