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Protest held after reinstatement of B.C. dairy farm's licence amid animal abuse allegations

Abbotsford, B.C. -

Protesters gathered in Abbotsford Saturday morning after the licence of a B.C. dairy farm was reinstated amid animal abuse allegations.

Cedar Valley Farms is currently under investigation by the BC SPCA after hidden cameras allegedly captured evidence of animal abuse carried out by employees. 

On Friday, the BC Milk Marketing Board reinstated the farm’s dairy license, with several conditions, saying that a culture had developed on the farm that allowed the mistreatment of animals.

This prompted dozens of protesters to stand outside the Abbotsford Veterinary Clinic Saturday morning with signs, speakers and TV screens to “demand change.”

“I’m an activist, a concerned citizen who cares about the suffering of anybody – animal or otherwise,” said protest organizer Geoff Regier. “(We) demand that CCTV cameras be installed in all farms and slaughterhouses so the public can see the unfiltered reality of dairy production.”

The group chose the clinic as a symbolic location. According to both the SPCA and the BC Dairy Association, a veterinarian who works there is also a co-owner of Cedar Valley Farms.

Former employee Cesar Alonso was also at the protest.

“I spent four years of my life there and I’m a witness of the nightmare the animals live everyday, everyday,” he said.

Alonso is currently in the middle of a wrongful termination lawsuit, saying he was fired because he reported animal abuse “several times.”

The veterinary clinic was closed Saturday, but CTV News reached an employee by phone to ask for a statement, and also reached out to Cedar Valley Farms. Neither party had responded by air time.

Last week, the company responded by email to the abuse allegations.

“As a farm and as a family, we have long taken a stand that animal care and animal welfare are very important to us,” the statement said, in part. “We are very saddened by recent events and are in immediate action to get to the bottom of any activities that differ from our animal care commitments.” Top Stories

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